Portuguese Pot au Feu/Cozido à Portuguesa
Classic one pot (well, almost one pot) hearty dish using a variety of meats, charcuterie and vegetables to create a rich broth. This dish will vary considerably depending on which part of Portugal it comes from. Each region will introduce their own sausages, chouriços, pig’s ear and trotter, chicken, blood sausage (morcela) etc. There is really no rule on what to include or leave out but cooking time for each ingredient is crucial so that the dish doesn’t turn into undifferentiated mash… This recipe is a guide on how to time the various types of ingredients.
1 Chouriço (wine marinated smoked sausage)
1 Ham shank
150gr smoked pig’s ear or belly
1 small shin of beef
8 Waxy Potatoes (peeled, whole or halved)
4 Carrots (in large chunks)
200gr White beans
2 Onions (peeled and carved with cloves)
1. Boil the beef shin in plenty of salted water with a whole peeled onion carved with 4 cloves. Skim the surface after 10 minutes and reduce heat to a gently simmer. Cook for at least 2 hours or until meat is falling off the bone. This cooking liquid is the main component of the final broth so it is worth investing in!
2. Cook the white beans with one onion in salted water after soaking overnight. Boil gently for 40−50 minutes or until cooked. Keep the beans in the cooking liquid until service.
3. In a third pot, cook the ham shank in water (if the shank has been salted before do not add more salt). Cook for 1.5-2 hours or until soft. After 1 hour add the pig’s ear or belly. Once cooked remove the meats and discard the water (pork stock is not a good idea).
4. Remove the beef shin when cooked and use the liquid to cook the potatoes, carrots and the chouriço. Cook for 15 minutes then add the cabbage, cut in large chunks along the centre so that leaves keep together.
5. Remove all bones from the meats and cut into chunks.
6. When potatoes are cooked add some of the bean liquid and taste, correcting seasoning if necessary. Dish up a little bit of each ingredient and pour the broth on top.