Cozido a Portuguesea (Portuguese Hot Pot) by Nelson de Sousa
Nothing says I love you as much as cooking that great classic, “Cozido a Portuguesa” for your family on a cold winter day!
Here’s a recipe from a great home cook! Nelson, is a Bona fide – “Portuguese Foodie” like me who puts his heart on the plate.
He loves Portuguese food so much that began a “Portuguese Cooking” page on Facebook and even took a job as unpaid intern – sous chef at: o lagar restaurant – a Portuguese restaurant in Union NJ.
Nelson’s recipe for Portuguese Oxtail Stew recently won a contest on (rumbameats.com).
Here’s his intro and his recipe below. Thanks Nelson. Enjoy everyone!
Nelson de Sousa – Feb 21, 2011:
Every culture has a tradition of a boiled meat dish. The Chinese call it hot pot, the French call it choucroute and Latin Americans call it sancocho. The Portuguese call it cozido and nothing beats this comfort food in the middle of winter with several inches of snow falling and a negative wind chill!
Of course it doesn’t much snow in Portugal but cozido reminds me of cold Saturdays in my parent’s basement with a big pot of boiling goodness that would steam up the windows, walls and the TV with its warmth. The Portuguese cozido has its origins in the Beira region and is commonly made from shin of beef, pork, and Portuguese smoked sausages and in some regions chicken, served with cabbage, carrots, turnips, rice, potatoes, and collard greens.
Since the origins of this dish are humble (this is a rustic recipe meant to use up the cheaper cuts of meat) it contains ingredients that are unsavory to more “American” refined palates such as pig’s snout, pig’s feet, pig’s ear and blood sausage. I give no quantities below as it varies by how many people you are serving.
When you go to the store you will have to gauge how much meat to buy for the amount of people you are serving. Similarly, I don’t give cooking times as this varies by how much meat you are using, which particular cut you are using and the thickness/weight of each meat item. You will have to test periodically with a knife and fork until you reach your desired tenderness.
Some aficionados of cozido prefer the meat less tender while others prefer it falling off the bone. Traditionally a well plated dish will consist of some quantity of one of everything mentioned below albeit in a smaller cut up portion.
If all the various cuts of meat are not available or they disgust you don’t worry all you need to maintain the spirit of the dish is to have a sampling of all the meats (pork, beef, chicken) sausage and the vegetables.
- stewing beef (whole piece not cut up stew meat)
- pork ribs
- pork hock,
- pork snout
- pork tail
- pork ear
- pork neck bones
- morcela sausage (a Portuguese blood sausage)
- chourico sausage (the Portuguese equivalent to chorizo)
- salpicao sausage (a Portugese sausage)
- farinheira sausage (a Portuguese mealy sausage)
- lean unsmoked bacon slab, in one piece
- white cabbage
- carrots, scraped
- collard greens
- rice (optional)
Place all the meat except for the sausages in boiling water enough to cover all and allow it to cook at a low boil. Add salt to taste. As each item of meat cooks, remove it from the broth into a separate dish.
Please note that different meats will cook differently. Check your meat periodically for your desired tenderness.
When all the meat has cooked thoroughly place the white cabbage, potatoes, carrots and turnips in the broth and cook. Remove vegetables as they are cooked and set aside with the meat.
Once again please note that vegetables may cook at varying rates so check periodically. Add collard greens and boil until tender and cooked. Finally add the sausages and boil until cooked being careful to watch the farinheira as it can explode.
When the sausages are near being fully cooked gently place the meat back into the broth pot, along with vegetables so that all the ingredients can come up to temperature. Place the vegetables last into the pot.
To plate the dish place the cabbage into a platter. Slice the beef, pork, chicken and sausages into manageable 2-3 inch pieces and place on top leaving the bone in pieces a little bigger so as to not distort the natural shape of the meat.
Garnish the dish with the remaining vegetables around the platter and top with slices of sausage.
Some like to reserve some of the broth and cook some rice in it. To do so take some broth out before adding all the ingredients back into the pot to reheat. Remember that liquid to rice ratios are: 1 quantity or rice to 2 of liquid.