Sunday, 10 July 2011

Cozido a Portuguesa

Today's great eats is brought to you by Cozido a Portuguesa.

It is a Portuguese National dish and there are so many versions of it. Just google it and you'll see.

I was first introduced to this dish while on vacation in the Portuguese Island of Sao Miguel. Traditionally, it is a stew made with a cut of beef, chicken, homemade sausage, potatoes, cabbage, and whatever vegetables you would like to add. Basically, it is a stew of various meats and vegetables, so you can be as creative as you like.

In Sao Miguel, at Furnas Lake, this beautiful stew is cooked in the ground by natural boiling water heated by a volcano. Yes, a volcano! It is quite something to see, if you ever happen to be on the island.

But you can recreate it at home too. I think the secret to a good Cozido is the sausage. Luckily, I was born into a family that has the best pork sausage recipe in the word.

You'll need a high-tech smoker to make these. They're hard to come by so if you can't find one at the mall I guess you'll have to go to Safeway for one of those Spanish type chorizo type sausages.

Sorry, I can't give the recipe out, family secret and all.

But I will tell you that home-made pepper paste is one of the key ingredients if you like to make your own sausage.

The spiciness of the sausage is what give the absolutely delicious flavour to the Cozido.

Today's Cozido was quite simple: sausage, chicken breasts, roast beef, potatoes. And then some boiled peas done on the side using some of the liquid that the other ingredients were cooked in. I doubt you have had meat this tender and delicious. Make it anyway you like with your choice of vegetables but try it. I don't think you will be disappointed.

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