Provincetown’s Portuguese Pork and Clams

When the first Portuguese fishermen arrived in Provincetown in the 19th century, they not only brought their skills as fishermen but they also brought their delicious Portuguese cooking.  One of these delicious recipes was Carne de Porco à Alentejana.  Carne de Porco à Alentejana is a traditional Portuguese Pork and Clams dish which originates from the Portuguese region of Alentejo. It is a true example of Portuguese cuisine, simplicity, rich flavor, and unique combination of ingredients.

The Cape owes a great deal to these early Portuguese fishermen of Provincetown, none more than for the great ingredients and cooking methods brought from their homeland of Portugal.  Here is a recipe for Portuguese Pork and Clams.

Provincetown Portuguese Pork and Clams
Serves 6

2 lbs. of pork , cut in ½ inch pieces
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 ½ cups dry white wine
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. powdered saffron
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 lbs. clams in the shell, scrubbed or 2 dozen canned whole clams
Parsley sprigs for garnish


Combine pork, vinegar, white wine, onion, carrot, garlic, parsley, bay leaf, and saffron.  Marinate for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.  With a slotted spoon remove the pork cubes from the marinade.  Reserve the marinade.  In a large skillet, heat the oil and brown the pork over high heat for 10 minutes, turning frequently.  Add marinade, bring to boil, and add clams.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until clams open.  Discard unopened clams. Garnish with parsley.

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