Portuguese Stewed pork -- CacoilaPortuguese Stewed pork -- Cacoila
Portuguese stewed pork, called cacoila (pronounced Ka-soil-a) is a favorite dish of mine from my childhood.  It seems that every family has their own recipe for how to make cacoila thus no two recipes are identical. What they do have in common is that they generally use an inexpensive cut of beef or pork, are marinated overnight and then simmered for several hours to absolute tenderness and perfection. In fact, a more expensive cut of meat like pork tenderloin, for example, will not work as well with this method of preparation and will lack the fat needed to keep the meat juicy during the long cooking process. Budget friendly cuts of meat like pork butt and pork shoulder will work beautifully for this recipe.  Beef is equally delicious in this recipe and for that I use a cut of meat like stew beef.  

Most recipes traditionally call for the meat to be spiced and marinated overnight or for as long as two days before cooking. My mother, like her mother before her, braised her cacoila all day in the oven or on the stove top in a dutch oven. I layer mine in a crock pot and simmer on low. The results are amazing and using the crock pot makes it a great recipe for not only a lazy weekend but also during a busy work week or school schedule. 

Ingredients: 

  • 6-7 lbs boneless pork butt cut into 1 in cubes
  • 1- 16oz can diced, fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 1- 28oz can tomato sauce
  • 3 cups of any good red table wine
  • 2 large onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 tbsp crushed red pepper sauce ("Pemento Muida" or other hot pepper sauce in a jar) 
  • 3 packages of Goya Sazon seasoning blend
  • salt and pepper to taste.


Directions: 

  1. Place all the ingredients in your crock pot in the order that they appear above in the recipe Simmer on low  for 8 to 9 hours until all the meat just falls apart. 
  2. If you do not have a crockpot, simmer on the stove on low heat and stirring about every hour so the meat does not burn. 

Traditionally, cacoila is served on a bulky roll but it may also be served over rice or potatoes for a more hearty meal.

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