Portuguese-Style Braised Pork with Cockles
This recipe is featured in Cockles
For the marinade:
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- ¾ cup white wine
- ¼ cup sherry vinegar
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 pounds pork butt, cut into 1-inch cubes
For the Braise:
- 6 slices bacon
- 2 onions, cut into ½ inch dice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2½ tablespoons flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt, or as needed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4½ pounds fresh cockles, scrubbed
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
- Tabasco sauce, or other hot sauce, to taste.
1. For the marinade: In a small bowl, combine the garlic, wine, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and bay leaf. Place the pork in a resealable plastic bag, and add the marinade. Seal the bag and turn until the pork is well covered. Place the bag in a bowl or dish, and refrigerate overnight.
2. Place a strainer over a bowl and drain the pork well, reserving the marinade. Pat the pork dry with paper towels, and set aside. Place a large cataplana (hinged Portuguese pan) or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until the fat is rendered; remove bacon and reserve for another use. Working in batches, sear the pork until well-browned on all sides, transferring each batch to a bowl as it is done. When all the pork is browned, add onions and garlic and sauté until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add flour and quickly stir into the oil in the pan, then add broth, tomato paste, hot pepper flakes, salt, and lemon juice. Add browned pork and the reserved marinade.
3. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover pan and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, 1¼ to 1½ hours. At this point you may continue with the recipe or, alternatively, allow the braised pork to cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, and reheat before continuing with the recipe.
4. Add cockles to pan, cover, and increase heat to high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cockles open, 5-7 minutes. Discard any cockles that do not open. Add tomatoes and parsley, and adjust seasoning with additional salt and Tabasco as needed. Stir, and serve immediately.