Introduction: Pork & Clams
Pork and clams is a simple, classic dish from south Portugal. It comes in many regional forms, but this is the way I make it at home. It's ridiculously easy, and takes modification well.
Step 1: Tools and Ingredients
2 pounds pork (a fatty cut like belly or shoulder
2 pounds clams
2 Tablespoons Butter or lard
2 large onions
Handful peeled garlic (I use ~6 cloves, YMMV)
~8 medium button mushrooms
3 medium tomatoes
2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
Salt & pepper to taste
handful parsley, chopped fine
1/2 cup Sherry or red wine
Large pot with lid
Wooden spoon or similar for pot stirring
Step 2: Chop and Saute Onions
Coarsely chop onions, and saute in ~2 Tsablespoons lard or butter. Sprinkle with salt to speed the cooking process, and stir as needed.
Step 3: Add Pork
Chop the pork into cubes, roughly 1/2" - 1" on a side. The smaller your clams, the smaller you'll want to chop your pork to ensure balance.
Once the onions have softened, add pork and stir.
Step 4: Add Mushrooms & Paprika
Coarsely chop mushrooms, and add to the pork/onion mixture. Stir.
Add smoked paprika, and stir some more. Cook until the pork is cooked through.
This is a good time to wash your clams, and chop everything else you'll need for the dish.
Step 5: Add Everything Else But the Clams
Once the meat is cooked through, add everything else but the clams.
3 chopped tomatoes
6 cloves of garlic, grated
handful of parsley, chopped
1/2 cup sherry or red wine
Stir, and simmer for about 5 minutes so the juices mingle. If it's especially soupy, you may want to simmer longer to reduce the liquid to a more manageable level.
Now is also the time to taste, and adjust seasonings. Add more paprika for smokiness, or more salt, pepper, or garlic depending on what kind of kick you think this needs. Simmer for another minute or two to let the spices mingle again, then taste and repeat.
Step 6: Add Clams
Add clams, stir, and cover the pot. Open every couple of minutes to stir and check the clams, repeating as needed for about 10-12 minutes.
When all the clams are open (or rather, when all the clams that will open have opened) you're done.
Step 7: Serve
Scoop the stew onto a plate, removing any un-opened clams as you go. Sprinkle with a bit more parsley if you're feeling fancy.
This is standardly served with a crusty Portuguese bread, but you could also put it on top of noodles.
Best eaten warm, as clams don't store so well. If you end up with leftovers, go ahead and eat the clams, and store the remaining pork stew in the fridge for later - clam-free, it will keep nicely.