Cozido a Portuguesea (Portuguese Hot Pot)

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.  SimilarlySimularly 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.   

 

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