Portuguese Pork and Garlic
One sure thing about vinho d’ alhos (pronounced something like “vino dosh”), no two recipes are the same. The basics are vinegar, wine, pickling spices, and garlic. My family recipe marinates pork for a mere day or two, but aficionados often pickle the meat for three or even more days. My grandfather would marinate his in the cool basement for a week! The tart and spicy marinade gives the meat a pronounced, mouthwatering tang. Pork loin is a great cut for this soak, but cheap pork shoulder is even better. If you use shoulder, roast the pork to at least 170ºF so it is fall-apart tender–the fat will keep it from drying out. And I always add some potatoes to cook in the wonderful juices.
  • 1cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2cup dry white wine
  • 2tablespoons pickling spices(see Note)
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
Pork Loin
  • 1 pork loin roast with bones, chine bone cracked(about 3 1/2 pounds)
  • 2pounds red potatoescut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  1. At least 1 day before serving, marinate the pork: Whisk the vinegar, 1 cup water, the wine, pickling spices, garlic, salt, and hot pepper flakes together in a large bowl. Put the pork in a 1-gallon zippered plastic bag, pour in the marinade, and close the bag. Place in a baking dish and refrigerate, turning the bag occasionally, for 1 or 2 days.
  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  3. Drain the pork and discard the marinade. Scrape off as many of the clinging spices as possible. Place the pork, bone side down, in the roasting pan. Roast for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF and continue roasting for 30 minutes more.
  4. Toss the potatoes and oil together in a large bowl. Spread the potatoes around the pork and stir to coat with the pan juices. Continue roasting, occasionally stirring the potatoes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the pork reads 145ºF, about 1 hour. Transfer the pork to a carving board, tent with aluminum foil, and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Return the oven temperature to 425ºF. Continue roasting the potatoes, turning them occasionally with a metal spatula, until they are golden and tender, about 15 minutes more.
  6. Carve the pork and transfer to a serving platter. Season the potatoes to taste with salt and pepper. Spread the potatoes around the pork, sprinkle with the cilantro, and serve.
Recipe Notes

Note: If you prefer, use this substitute for the pickling spices: 2 teaspoons whole allspice, 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, 6 whole cloves, and 2 crumbled bay leaves for the pickling spice.