I first had this traditional Portugese dish - Aletejana, as it's more lyrically called in that language - on my recent trip to Lisbon, at a comfy, unfussy neighborhood spot called Churrascaria Gaucha:
What I loved about it was the aggressive use of salt (a theme in Portugese cooking, I found) and heavy hand with the application of paprika and cilantro. There were no half measures in this plate of food, and the almost-sweet pork and briny clams were all the better for it. Not pretty, but very memorable:
|Carb overload: the ubiquitous fries on the side, here with rice|
So I had a little chat with the server to confirm the ingredients I detected - paprika (pimenton, really), cilantro, garlic - and ascertain those I didn't - white wine, butter. My notes, from which I made the dish, read as follows:
LOTS of cilantro
Smash loads of garlic, fry in butter, remove. Fry meat in olive oil, add white wine, cook. Add paprika and cilantro. Simmer. Serve. [Not in my notes: Add the clams just at the end, and discard any that don't open.]
And that - along with a fair bit of tasting along the way - led to this:
A big yes. My only changes: I added some of the garlic back in, and used little neck clams, as that is what I had available. And I really hope it goes without saying that you need to simmer the thing until the pork is cooked.
The lesson here (if I am going to be didactic/annoying and insist that all cooking and/or eating must, or should, teach us something relatable to the greater world) is that one must never, ever be afraid to be bold.