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Carne de vinha d'alho - marinated pork with wine-garlic sauce and slices of orange and lemon

Carne de vinha d'alho (pork in wine-garlic sauce)

December 12th, 2018 | main dishes

We remember this dish as a very special Christmas dinner on Madeira island. It is already a few years back, we had booked very spontaneously. Arriving on the 24th of December, without any restaurant reservation for the holidays. Just following our noses at Christmas day we ended up in a small fisherman bar near to Maddalena do Mar. The tiny bar was packed. We were the only tourists. There was no menu, and apparently only one single dish. “Christmas dinner”, they told us.

Carne de vinha d'alho (pork in wine-garlic sauce)

Because understanding was difficult they took me into the kitchen and the chef – with bright eyes – held a pan and a fork under my nose. It was a duel of scents! Wine, onions and lots of garlic – I can’t imagine the Portuguese cuisine without it. In this dish, which is traditionally cooked for Christmas, all of this is combined with marinated pork and the wonderful aroma of citrus fruits… I tried and loved it. Our hosts were happy: “Feliz Natal!”

But of course Carne vinho e alhos is quite excellent all year round. Instead of toasted bread as in the recipe, even Bolo de Caco, the typical bread of Madeira, fits perfectly. If you like it slightly rustic you can also use belly bacon instead of the fillets of pork.

Pork in wine-garlic sauce (Carne vinho e alhos)

(4 – 6 servings – Attention: you need 2 – 3 days for marinating the meat)

1.5 kg pork tenderloin
rinse under cold water, dry, cut into approximately 4 cm long cubes, put in a glass or ceramic bowl
700 ml white wine
100 ml vinegar
6 garlic cloves, chopped
4 bay leaves
6 cloves
Cayenne pepper
prepare marinade and pour over the meat cubes, let it marinate covered in the fridge for 2-3 days
simmer meat for 30 minutes in the marinade, use moderate heat, take the meat cubes out and dry on kitchen paper
8 slices of white bread
dip one side in the marinade and dry on kitchen paper, toast them
boil down the remaining marinade over high heat
4 TS oil
40 g butter
sauté the drained meat cubes in hot fat from all sides shortly, but sharp
place meat cubes on a plate, pour marinade on top
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon sliced
3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, chopped
garnish with slices of orange and lemon and parsley, and serve with the toasted bread

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