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.

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Barriga assada à Leitão/Pork Belly Leitão Style

This recipe uses a classic mix used in the sauce for roast suckling pig (leitão) made up of crushed garlic, lard and a very generous amount of black pepper. Suckling pig is a speciality of the Bairrada region in the centre of Portugal where the combination of rearing techniques, roasting skills and constant demand makes for one of the hot spots of Portuguese cuisine. The tenderness achieved by slowly roasting pork belly together with the garlic and black pepper seasoning almost achieves the unique leitão taste…

Pork Belly

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The Ham Project II

After all the curing, smoking and 4 months of hanging our ham was finally ready to play!


Still surprisingly moist, next time it will hang 6 to 8 months. People making home made cure hams in Portugal often leave them hanging from one year to the next. If the ham is too moist it becomes harder to cut thinly which is essential for this kind of ham. A ham holder together with a a special ham knife can facilitate the process considerably. As with all meat, the diet of the animal is key to taste and texture of the final product and maybe next time we will be able to experiment in a more controlled environment and perhaps with the famous acorn diet…
The ham was smooth in texture with a light smoky taste. It is reassuring to have an entire ham to cut from to serve for impromptu gatherings  and snacks. The fat makes for an excellent addition to stews and roasts.
More from the ham project next year…

Roast Pork Shoulder/Pá de Porco Assada

This recipe is based on the standard Portuguese way of roasting pork with a marinade of roasted red pepper paste, garlic, red wine vinegar and white wine. Relatively cheap cuts such as shoulder work particularly well. Although somewhat fatty they hold imense flavour and make for a fantastic slow roast with rich and deep-flavored juices.

Roast Pork Shoulder
Roast Pork Shoulder

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