Vinha d'alhos (Garlic Wine Marinated Dishes)

      In the Azores, this dish is commonly made the morning following the killing of a pig. I am glad I don't have to wait to kill a pig to make it.  This is a traditional Azorean dish which can vary from cook to cook. Some will use red wine and cook this in the oven while others will use white wine and vinegar and cook it on the stove.  Some marinate up to 3 days before cooking while five or six are enough for others.

Serves 8 to 10

Day before:

  • 4       pounds pork butt, cut in 2-inch cubes
  • 1        cup white wine vine or as needed
  • 6       tablespoons wine vinegar or 3 tablespoons wine vinegar and  3       tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6        cloves garlic, smashed

1.  In a non-reactive bowl combine the meat,  wine, vinegar and garlic.  Add additional wine and vinegar in the same ratio to completely cover the meat if more is needed. Cover and chill up to 3 days.

 Cooking day:

  • 1/2    cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 4       cloves garlic, smashed
  •  ½      teaspoon cumin
  • 4       kernels of Jamaican allspice
  • ½       teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1        tablespoon massa de malequetas or to taste (crushed dried     red  chili can be substituted)
  • 2       teaspoons coarse salt or to taste
  • ½       teaspoon freshly ground black or white pepper.
  • 2       bay leaf
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups water

1. Drain the marinade from the meat and discard.

2. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and working in small batches brown the chunks of meat on all sides.  Transfer to a pot large enough to accommodate the meat.

 3.  To the large pot, add the remaining seasonings followed by the wine vinegar and water.  Add more in the same ratio until the meat is covered halfway.  Cover and bring the contents to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours until fork tender.  Serve with either boiled ihames, sweet potatoes, regular boiled potatoes or  rice and of course, bread to sop up the juices.