Lunch today was part 2 in a 3 part feastravaganza picked out by my mate. Basically, he picks 3 places in a day that we hit up for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Silvas is a Portuguese diner in Petersham. I originally thought it was like a chargrilled chicken joint with piri piri sauce and whatever. It is but there’s also the sit down diner with a full restaurant style menu. When we got seated, there was a table next to us with dus polishing off creme caramels and shots of sherry. Both looked great but we were kinda stuffed from breakfast.

We were originally gonna go for the nice looking chicken that was split in half and flattened in a massive pile behind the glass counter on a bain marie. That changed quickly after a good look at the menu, which revealed some interesting options, including dry aged beef, salt cod and other stuff. My mate goes for salt cod with roasted chats and garlic. It arrives swathed in olive oil and is quite the treat. The fish itself wasn’t absurdly salty, I mean, it’s salt cod so of course it’s salty but it wasn’t insane salty. The good but was the texture, smooth in between flakes but chewy/springy. The skin was slightly crisp and the dish was simple but beautiful.

My pick was a revelation. Porco a Alentejana, which is pork with clams, apparently a classic Portuguese dish. My dish arrives with cubed fried potatoes, nicely browned cubes of pork that had a decent run of fat and pipis. A good pile of em. The pork is marinated in pimenton, white wine, oil, garlic, parsley and onions. This was then browned off in a pot before being deglazed with the marinade. The pipis are then thrown on top and everything’s finished off. It is sublime. I mean, I’ve tasted the ingredients all before but it’s this combo that is sick. Clams and pork is going straight into my flavor memory. My dad would love this dish. It takes a basic vongole sauce but gives it incredible depth with the pork juices so the result is that awesome clammy taste of the sea with the hearty, strong bodied but neutral pork juice. Match made in heaven concept. Beautiful. I mopped up the sauce with some bread for good measure.

This recipe sounds good to me.

2.5 lbs pork loin cut into 1 inch cubes
4tbs pimenton sauce
2 cups white wine
2 crushed bay leaves
1 onion
6 cloves garlic
2tbs tomato paste
2tsp hot crushed pepper
20 clams/pipis
Marinate the pork with pimenton sauce, wine, bay leaves and garlic overnight
Sear meat on a hot pan, remove and set aside
In the same pan, sweat onions, throw in some diced garlic and cook it low and slow until its super tender
add the tomato paste and cook that off slightly then deglaze everything with the marinade
throw in the hot red pepper powder if desired or sub with some paprika/chilli
add the pork and braise covered til finished on a low heat, maybe an hour or so
serve with deep fried potatoes/chips whatever
The pimenton sauce is the only thing that might be hard to get.