Xarém (or Xerém)

Cockles, Pork and Maize Mash

Serves 4

  • 1 kg of cockles (amêijoas) ;
  • 100 grs of bacon ;
  • 100 grs of pork sausage (chouriço) ;
  • 100 grs of cured ham (presunto) ;
  • 200 grs of maize flour ;
  • 1 dl of white wine ;
  • salt to taste ;
  • pepper to taste ;
  • water


Wash the cockles, which should preferentially be of average size and caught in the sand rather than in the mud, in a bowl of cold water in order to rid them from the impurities they may contain. Then cover the cockles with sea water for about 4 to 5 hours. Should you not have sea water available, use drinking water seasoned with salt.
Cut the bacon and the ham into thin stripes. Slice the pork sausage.
Fry the bacon, the ham and the pork sausage in a frying-pan on a low flame.
Take the cockles out of the water. Cook the cockles in a deep pan, covered with water, for about 8 to 10 minutes.
Drain the liquid in which the cockles were cooked, taking care to strain it through a fine colander. Take out the edible part of the cockles. Place it in another pan, add the liquid in which they were cooked plus the wine and cook the mixture letting it boil for a while.
Sift the flour with a sieve.
Take the pan of the flame and then add the flour so that it doesn't become lumpy.
Place the pan on the flame once again and cook the mixture, stirring from time to time. Add the meat and serve hot.

Algarve Tourist Region

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