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Portuguese recipe: Wine and garlic pork (Carne de vinha d’alhos)

Author: Emma Higgins  |  June 11th 2017


Pork is a popular meat in Portugal, and there are many ways the people cook and prepare it here. Roasted pork loin, spicy chorizo, sucking pig cooked on a spit – you name it, the Portuguese have tried it.

I came across this wine and garlic pork – otherwise known as carne de vinha d’alhos – when searching online for something different to try in my own kitchen. I’ve made other pork recipes countless times but wanted to find something typically Portuguese with a unique flavour. Plus, anything that marinates for three days has to be delicious, right?


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This recipe traditionally comes from Madeira and is prepared around Christmas time. That said, having made this a few times now I don’t think it needs to be tied to the festive season – it can be enjoyed any time of the year. As it’s quite rich and hearty it might be more satisfying in the winter months, but it’s so tasty I know I’ll be making it all year round.

Wine and garlic pork is also referred to as ‘pickled pork’ in English-speaking countries, a nickname that gives you a clue as to what this dish tastes like; tangy from the wine and vinegar it’s soaked in, but also slightly spiced and herby at the same time.


// Related: 6 delicious and drool-worthy Portuguese dishes


The Portuguese cook carne de vinha d’alhos in a big pot and serve it with bread or rice, but to add a healthy element and put a modern twist on it, I’ve created a dish that puts sliced greens, crushed new potatoes, crispy shallots, toasted pine nuts, and a chorizo and sage oil alongside the succulent pork pieces.

It’s up to you what kind of pork cut you want to use. I go for a shoulder with the fat trimmed off, but I’ve also seen recipes with pork leg or loins. As it’s marinated for so long, I feel you don’t have to overthink the cut of meat too much – the flavour is powerful regardless. You could even adapt this recipe with pork chops, if you wanted to.


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Once you get the hang of this recipe it’s a simple one to reproduce for dinner parties and larger groups of people. The pork packs a serious punch of flavour with minimal effort from the cook’s point of view, and all the sides are easy to put together too. Enjoy with a glass of Douro red wine.



Wine and garlic pork ingredients

Wine and garlic pork method


Would you try this wine and garlic Portuguese pork?




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