Gordon Ramsay modernizes this popular Portuguese pork recipe

Portugal - Spicy Portuguese clams and pork. (Credit: National Geographic/Justin Mandel)
Portugal - Spicy Portuguese clams and pork. (Credit: National Geographic/Justin Mandel) /

In the Gordon Ramsay Uncharted Portugal episode, this popular Portuguese pork recipe has a modern twist without losing its connection to the culture. By keeping it relatively simple, the ingredients shine. After one bite, anyone will feel transported to the stunning locale.

As Ramsay travels on these culinary adventures, the reality is that each locale is more than putting the celebrated chef in precarious environments as he seeks the world’s best ingredients. There is a cooking lesson to be learned and adapted through each challenge.

For the Portugal episode, the succulent seafood will have everyone talking. From those Gooseneck Barnacles to the sardines, those ingredients might not be approachable for the home cook. While many foodies would happily devour a plate when presented at a restaurant, the idea of cooking with them at home is not necessarily feasible.

How does the home cook make this Gordon Ramsay Portuguese pork recipe?

Pork recipes can be quite diverse. From American barbecue to Asian influenced, pork can transform easily to a variety of flavors. While there can be many flavors on the plate, one key factor connects them all. Quality ingredients are always imperative.

As seen in the Gordon Ramsay Uncharted Portugal episode, the pork is special. Similar to a high-end wagyu, when care is taken to raise the animal, the flavor is impeccable. With such a beautiful ingredient, it needs to be the star of the plate.

In this Portuguese pork recipe, Portuguese Pork Alentejana, the classic dish from Portugal’s plains region has a little boost without stepping too far outside the original recipe. Garlic forward, the slowly cooked dish is a taste of comfort that calls people back time and again.

Portuguese Pork Alentejana


  • 1 pound iberico secreto pork, thinly sliced into strips (or a rib eye pork chop can be substituted)
  • Kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces hard chorizo, cut into ¼ inch rounds
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced (approximately ¼ cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 fresno chili peppers
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups drive white wine
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 pound littleneck clams
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1/4 cup fish stock
  • ½ pound peewee potatoes, boiled and cut in half
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Fresh lemon zest for garnish
  • Toasted baguette for serving

The pork is seared in a dutch oven with oil olive. Allow the fat to render slightly as the pork cooks in batches. Cook the chorizo in a similar way. Remove and set aside.

To the dutch oven, add the shallots and cook till tender. Then add, the garlic, chiles, and bell peppers to the pot. Add the cherry tomatoes and let them blister. Pour the half of wine into the pot, simmer and reduce by half. Then add the tomato puree.

Finally, add the clams, with the remaining wine and fish stock. Allow the clams to open, return the pork and chorizo to the pot. Add the cooked potatoes and seasons. Finish the dish with butter and garnish.

While this dish has layers of flavors, the reality is the pork is and remains the start of this dish. All the other ingredients supplement that flavor.

From a warm summer day or night with a wintry chill, this Portuguese pork recipe is one to remember. That comforting plate of food is a culinary adventure that any home cook can master.

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What one recipe do you want to master? Is there a dish that you crave yet haven’t been able to recreate?