Madeiran Pork with Wine and Garlic (Carne Vinha d’Alhos) | Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

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A bracing marinade is the secret to this tangy, garlicky pork shoulder

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

Appears in May-June 2021

2½ hours 50 minutes active, plus marinating

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

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.

4-6

Servings

Tip

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

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