Pork and Clams from Alentejo

Peter Zampaglione celebrates flavoursome peppers and nutty-tasting chickpeas in this robust Mediterranean main course
Pork and Clams from Alentejo
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus 48 hrs steeping and marinating
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the red pepper marinade

  • 500 g jarred roasted peppers
  • 75 g cloves garlic, shredded
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 300 ml olive oil

For the pork and clams

  • 1 kg pork fillet
  • 2 cloves garlic, shredded
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 200 ml white wine
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 x 400 g can of chickpeas

For the broth

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 1 small yellow pepper, diced
  • 300 g clams, cleaned
  • 1 handfuls coriander, chopped
  • 200 ml white wine, preferably dry
  • salt and black pepper

Method

1. For the red pepper marinade, layer the peppers, garlic and salt in a ceramic dish and leave to marinate to 24 hours.

2. Rinse the salt off the peppers and drain away any excess liquid. Transfer to a blender and process until smooth, adding the olive oil in a steady stream as the peppers become a smooth paste. Store in a tightly lidded jar in the fridge.

3. For the pork,add the garlic cloves, bay leaves, salt, pepper and the white wine to half the pepper puree, reserving the other half for the broth. Set the pork fillet in a roasting tin and pour everything over. Set aside to marinate for 24 hours.

4. Drain the chickpeas, tip into a blender, and puree in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.


4. Preheat a grill until very hot.

5. Drain the pork from its marinade and place under a hot grill. Cook, turning frequently, until the surface darkens and begins to char - about 15-20 minutes. While the pork is under the grill, make the broth

6. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and tip in the diced peppers, followed by the garlic. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the clams and pour in the wine. Bring the broth to a simmer and cook until the clams have opened - about 5 minutes.

7. Stir in the chopped coriander and add enough of the reserved pepper puree to taste. Store any extra puree in the fridge - it'll keep for 2-3 days - it tastes great with other meaty grills and as a dip.

8. Heat the chickpeas in a small saucepan and place a generous dollop in the bottom of 4 deep plates. Slice the pork and arrange portions on top of the puree. Spoon the clams and broth over and around the pork and serve straight away.

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