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Cockles - New Zealand littleneck clams

Cockles – New Zealand littleneck clams

More shellfish!  I found these cockles at the market and thought I would create a riff on a classic Portuguese dish of pork with clams.

I followed the recipe for Pork With Clams in Piri Piri Starfish, by Tessa Kiros.

Instead of pork shoulder, I used Spanish chorizo.

Spanish Chorizo with Clams

Spanish Chorizo with Clams

Pork With Clams

Serves 4.


650g Small clams in shells

4 Tablespoons olive oil (I used lard.  There.  I said it.)

600g Pork shoulder, cubed (I substituted Spanish chorizo)

1 Onion, chopped

3 Garlic cloves, chopped

125mL White wine

Juice of half a lemon

500g potatoes, cubed

2 Heaped tablespoons chopped coriander


Make sure the clams are cleaned and rinsed.  Leave in colander.

Heat the fat in a large wide pan and add the pork.  Sauté over a high heat until golden and a bit crusty on both sides (be patient here, because a good deep colour is what will give wonderful flavour to the finished dish).

Season with salt and pepper and add the onion.  Continue to sauté until the onion is soft and golden, then add the garlic and cook until you start to smell it.  Add the wine and let it bubble up and thicken slightly.

Add 375mL of water, put the lid on the pan and simmer over a low heat for about 1 1/4 hours, turning the meat a couple of times.  If you are using sausage like the Spanish chorizo I used, you can add less water and shorten the simmering time to, say, 15 minutes.  If necessary, add a little more water – there should be some slightly thickened sauce in the pan.

Add the clams and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.  Turn the heat up to high, put the lid on and cook for 10 minutes or so until the clam shells open.  If they haven’t all opened, put the lid back on for a couple of minutes and give them another chance, then discard any that are still stubbornly closed.

Meanwhile, parboil the potatoes for 5 minutes in boiling water, drain well and dry with kitchen paper.  Fry in plenty of olive oil until crisp, sprinkle with coarse salt and serve immediately.

Check the seasoning of the pork and clams, stir in the coriander and take to the table.  It can keep for a bit, with the lid on, before serving.