New England Alentejana

Prepared by Chef Matt Jennings of Townsman – West Natick, MA

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 pound pork belly, braised until tender, pressed and portioned into 2” squares
  • 2 dozen littleneck clams, cleaned well
  • 6-8 heirloom tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 2 shallots, sliced thinly
  • 1 carrot, peeled and small dice
  • 1 celery, peeled and small dice
  • 1 large Spanish onion, peeled and small dice
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika, ground
  • 1 tbsp cumin, toasted and ground
  • 1 tbsp coriander, toasted and ground
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 preserved lemon, flesh removed and rind julienned
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bunch thyme, picked and coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley, cleaned and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup butter, unsalted, cold and diced small

Directions

  1. Make sure the pork belly is at room temperature. In a Hestan Nanobond pan, sear the pork belly, skin side down, over a medium high heat. Caramelize well. Remove from pan and rest on paper towel.
  2. Lower heat on pan to medium. Place in the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, shallots and tomato and sauté, until the allium is sweated properly- but not browned. The tomato should start to break down naturally. This is fine.
  3. Next, add the spices and sweat them out in the sautéed vegetable mixture, until aromatic. Turn the heat up to medium high. Add the clams and braise. Keeping the pan on medium high heat, deglaze with white wine. Reduce by 1/3. Add the chicken stock, preserved lemon and bay leaf and turn down to a simmer, until clams open.
  4. Slowly monte aux beurre, adding the cold butter over a low heat. Fold in herbs. Return pork belly back to the pan and bring up to a warm temperature.
  5. Divide the mixture amongst six bowls- a little broth, clams, vegetable and pork belly in each bowl. Top with whole herb sprigs and sprinkling of chili flake.