Dreamy's Delights

It's all about the food!

Vinha d’alhos (Garlic Wine Marinated Dishes)

on August 8, 2012

My husband, Jene, is part Portuguese. As such, his great-grandmother served a dish called (according the family) Vingadosh. I found out that it’s pretty close to the way it’s pronounced, Vin-ah-doe-sh. It is a dish where meat is marinaded in garlic, white wine and vinegar for several days and then slow cooked in yet more vinegar and garlic. I found the following recipe at portuguesecooking.com.

Ana Patuleia writes:

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. (Note from Kris: The importance of browning cannot be emphasized strongly enough. It not only helps sear the meat so that the juices don’t all escape but it also adds an additional level of flavor. Don’t skip this step! I’ve included a picture below.)

 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.

Now, here’s what I’ve done differently.

1. I used beef instead of pork this time. We’ve had a lot of pork lately and I wanted a change.

2. I let it marinade 3-4 days. I really love the way beef tastes when vinegar has time to soak into it deeply.

3. I was completely out of cumin so I substituted some Adobo seasoning which is made from salt, pepper, cumin, onion and garlic. I then reduced the amount of salt and pepper I used.

4. I used half dried red chili flakes and half aleppo pepper flakes. Aleppo pepper has a wonderful flavor without as much heat.

This picture shows how the meat should be seared in small batches. If you try to pile it all in at once it will release too much liquid and steam/boil instead of browning. Not only does it lack the extra flavor from the sear but it makes the meat tough. So even though it takes extra time to sear it in small batches, be patient and do it!

Another step I added that was not in the recipe was to deglaze the pan after the meat was all seared. I added about a 1/4-1/2 cup of white wine to the hot pan and stirred it around to release all that brown yummy stuff from the bottom of the pan. That liquid then went into the cooking pot.

After 3 hours or so of slow simmering you have wonderful chunks of tangy, melt in your mouth goodness.

A note on flavor…  I have a very good sense of taste and really couldn’t taste the cinnamon, allspice or cumin. I honestly am not sure it’s worth it to use these spices. I’ll probably try leaving them out next time to see if it makes a difference

Other than that, I really enjoyed this dish and it’s pretty easy to make. Enjoy!

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One response to “Vinha d’alhos (Garlic Wine Marinated Dishes)

  1. Pat Gordon says:

    Try breakfast leftovers… A little butter in fry pan add meat and kind of re-fry…then add an over easy or poached egg on top. That runny yoke all over that vinegary spicy pork! Soooo delicious!

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