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Madeiran Pork with Wine and Garlic (Carne Vinha d’Alhos)

4-6 Servings

2½ hours 50 minutes active, plus marinating

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Carne vinha d’alhos, or pork with wine and garlic, is a traditional Christmas dish from the Portuguese island of Madeira and the precursor to the spicy Indian curry called vindaloo. To make it, chunks of pork are marinated in a heady mixture of wine, vinegar, garlic and herbs for up to a few days before they’re cooked until tender. The meat is subtly tangy, lightly garlicky and fragranced with herbs, with browned bits that provide great depth of flavor. The version that we learned to make in Madeira informed this recipe, but to achieve results as delicious as what we tasted there, we opted to use pork shoulder rather than leaner loin. But shoulder is a cut that requires lengthy cooking to become tender, so rather than a quick 30-minute simmer, we oven-braise the pork for about 1½ hours. From there we stay true to what we were taught: brown the meat after simmering to develop rich, flavorful caramelization, reduce the marinade cum cooking liquid to a light glaze, and finish the pork by coating it with the reduction. In Madeira, the pork typically is piled onto crusty rolls to make sandwiches, but we think it also is great with mashed or roasted potatoes alongside.




Don’t use an uncoated cast-iron Dutch oven. Enamel-coated cast-iron is fine, but in an uncoated cast-iron pot—even in one that is well seasoned—the acidity of the marinade may react with the iron, producing metallic “off” flavors. A stainless steel cooking surface is fine, too, but avoid aluminum unless it has been treated to make it nonreactive. After simmering the pork, be sure to drain the pieces on a rack as directed. This helps ensure nice caramelization when the pork is browned in the skillet. Finally, when skimming the fat off the braising liquid, be sure to reserve it for browning the pork.

2½ hours

50 minutes active, plus marinating


  • 5

    pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1- to 1½-inch chunks

  • 2

    cups dry white wine


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David S.
February 28, 2024
Delicious, fragrant and unusual, but ...
Very nice, especially if you love/crave foods cooked with wine. However, 6 cloves were too intense, and the dish needs much more fat at the skillet browning stage - probably 6-8 tablespoons, instead of only two. Otherwise, very good!
Bill O.
August 21, 2022
Great dish
I made this with a side of mashed cauliflower to keep the carbs down. I loved the pork. I probably crisped it a bit more than the recipe called for, but it came out a lot like char siu, which I love, but without the sweet flavor profile. Highly recommend.
Aimee G.

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Jen C.

Made it for the Oscars and everyone really liked it. It had a bit too much oregano for my tastes so next time I'll cut down on that, but otherwise a very flavorful dish! I served it with spaetzle and broccoli.

Jim V.

Just purchased full package fir my husband . We have retired and we love MilkStreet . We retired in the country and don’t have cable or good channels ( PBS) to show up . So this is the next best thing. We can watch his shows on line .. very excited...

Michael M C.

Had this last night and it was a 4 for 4, i.e., we all loved it. Even my 11 year old daughter who normally doesn’t like pork liked it. Very strong and different flavors. The smell while cooking was incredible.

John E.

Can you do the braising in the slow cooker to avoid heating up the oven (its finally Summer in New England).

Cynthia R.

I grew up eating this dish... I am 3rd generation in the US... and my grandmother made this especially during the holidays.

There were two different versions of this since one Grandfather came from Madeira, and the other came from San Miguel. The San Miguel version was different but tasted very similar. It was however, after marinating for a few days, fried in LARD... then drained on paper, and packed in a LARGE container and covered over by MORE LARD, liquified and left to solidify and into the spare fridge it went for the holidays. SO GOOD!!!

Jennifer B.

Delicious, we didn't have Madeira so used marsala, I think it was ok. Yes, definitely marinate overnight. We served with couscous and roasted vegetables, wonderful.

Nicole G.

Nice! I cooked this using a sous vide circulator (165 degrees, 24 hours) but otherwise followed the recipe.