Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C/Gas 4. Rinse the clams under the tap in a colander. Tap any that are open on the edge of your sink. If they are alive, they will close; if not, they are no more, so throw them out. Some of them may be stuck tight with mud, ready to ambush your dish with silt, but if you shake them vigorously in the colander under running water, they should come open and you can get rid of them.
Choose a heavy, flameproof casserole and in it heat a good splash of oil. Brown the pork briskly until well coloured all over. Take care not to burn the oil and fat. Remove the pork and all but 1 tablespoon of the fat, tip in the clams with the wine or water and cover with a lid. After 2 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the clams to a bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving the juice in the pot. Allow the clams to cool, then refrigerate, uncovered.
Peel the artichokes and quarter them lengthways. Scatter the shallots and garlic into the clam juice. Add the artichokes and bay leaves and then nestle the pork among its companions. Add a generous pinch of salt, and don’t be shy with the black pepper. Cover again and place in the oven.
After 2 hours, lift the pot from the oven, then add the clams, putting the lid back on for a further 4 minutes, or for just enough time to heat them in the steam. When done, remove the pork to a carving board. Throw the finely chopped parsley into the pot and squeeze in the juice from one lemon half. Mix thoroughly. Remove any clams that have failed to open. Carve the pork thickly and take to the table on a serving plate, surrounded with the artichokes all scattered with the clams and juices. The first time I ate this, additional vegetables seemed unnecessary. Serve with the remaining lemon half cut into wedges.