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10+ Portuguese Stews And Comfort Foods to Try This Winter 

In 2022, Portugal was rated 13th on the World’s Cuisines Ranking, according to Tasteatlas. It also earned four spots in the best traditional dishes in the world, with one of them reaching 3rd place.

Thus, there is no doubt you should explore Portuguese food as much as you possibly can. And what better place to start than tasty and satisfying winter dishes?

In truth, the natives don’t wait for the cold weather to eat their favorite comfort foods. Hence, you can easily taste most of the dishes below regardless of the season you visit the country. They are mouthwateringly good, or as the Portuguese say it: De comer e chorar por mais (To eat and cry for more).

From world-famous to simple regional recipes, Portuguese cooking has a lot for you to discover. Continue reading and join the hunt for Portuguese stews, soups, and other delicious winter foods!

European Portuguese Stews 

Would you like to know more about the Portuguese culture? Our unique language-learning program, The Journey, is an all-encompassing resource you can use. It helps you learn Portuguese From Portugal while having fun. At the same time, it guides you through the country’s stunning landscapes, traditions, and incredible food.

Some of the most comforting winter dishes in any country are warm and flavorful stews, and Portugal is no exception. These family recipes with nationwide recognition have unique flavors you will love. Here are the European Portuguese Stews you can’t miss. Plus, find out the Top Food & Drink in Portugal, according to the locals!

Cozido à Portuguesa – The Ultimate Portuguese Beef Stew

Cozido à Portuguesa is the first dish most Portuguese people think of when it comes to traditional dishes. Domingos Rodrigues, the royal cook in 1680, already praised it as a sumptuous dish. It is made of boiled vegetables, pork, chicken, beef, and traditional stuffed sausages, like chorizo. Despite its simplicity, it is satisfying and nutritious.

Cozido à Portuguesa is a traditional Portuguese beef stew
Cozido á portuguesa” by Nick Robinson, licensed under CC BY 2.0 Deed

Other European countries have their versions of Cozido, using different vegetables and types of meat. Likely, this famous dish appeared first in Spain, where it is still called Cocido. Then, it spread to the neighboring nations, leading to the French Pot-au-feu and the Italian Bollito Misto.

Cozido das Furnas

Another version of this Portuguese recipe is the Cozido das Furnas, from the Azores. In this case, the ingredients are placed in a large pot and buried close to the local geysers to simmer for over five hours. This way, the large chunks of meat become tender, and the vegetables, which include potatoes, carrots, and cabbage, gain a unique flavor.

Cozido das Furnas from the Azores
Cozido” by Dr. Thomas Liptak, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Deed

Feijoada – A Comforting Bean and Beef Stew

Another Portuguese beef stew, Feijoada, is commonly associated with Brazil, but its roots are on the other side of the Atlantic. Its name comes from the Portuguese word for bean (Feijão), which is the main ingredient.

Dobrada is a Portuguese white bean and tripe stew
“Feijoada a Portuguesa, Manuel Cozinha Prtugeesa, Shibuya” by Yuichi Sakuraba, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 Deed

This hearty stew originated in Northern Portugal because of its harsh winters. During this season, it was hard for natives to have abundant food. At the same time, they needed robust meals to fight the bitter cold.

Like most Portuguese stews, this recipe has many variations. They alter the type of beans, pork or beef cuts, stuffed sausages, or seafood. The Portuguese tradition is to serve Feijoada with white rice and pair it with a glass of red wine.

Dobrada And Tripas à Moda do Porto

Dobrada and Tripas à Moda do Porto are two types of Feijoada made with white beans. They are identical recipes that use pork and beef offal and chorizo. The Tripas stew recipe usually has a wider variety of meat and different cuts than the Dobrada, which stars the tripe.

Molha de Carne – A Unique Portuguese Stew

Traditional from the islands of Pico and Faial in the Azores, Molha de Carne is a hearty Portuguese beef stew. Each region and family has a slightly different recipe or cooking technique. But all result in a warm spiced sauce and slowly braised meat. 

Restaurants in mainland Portugal don’t usually serve it. So, you have to visit the islands or cook it yourself. The marinade for the beef, usually sirloin tip roast or a similar cut, has white wine, garlic, and bay leaves. It also includes spices, such as cinnamon, allspice, paprika, and fresh chilies or crushed red pepper. 

You will start by browning the beef. You can use a slow cooker, crock pot, or a Dutch oven. Remove it with a slotted spoon and add onions to sauteé. Then, add tomato paste, the meat, and some of the marinating liquid. 

Cover, and keep over low heat in a gentle simmer for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender. You can add water or broth during cooking to keep the stewing beef from drying. Locals serve this delightful Molha recipe with boiled potatoes. 

Caldeirada de Peixe And Cataplana de Marisco – Seafood Goodness

Portugal is the biggest fish consumer in the European Union. Plus, with over 800 kilometers of Atlantic coast, the country was bound to have some worthwhile fish recipes.

Most tourists revel in the delicate grilled fish you can eat in most fishing villages and coastal cities. Yet, fish stews are also on the menu, especially during the cold season. Two of the most famous and popular are the Caldeirada and the Cataplana.

The Cataplana Pot

It might surprise you that the term Cataplana names a traditional copper pot from the Algarve. This iconic Portuguese container joins two half pans and traps the heat in a similar process to that of a pressure cooker.

The Recipe For Caldeirada and Cataplana

The Cataplana is a copper pot used to cook and serve this Portuguese seafood stew
Cataplana de Mariscos” by Pedro Carrillo, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Deed

The Caldeirada and the Cataplana stew recipes call for identical ingredients. Both have onion, garlic, potatoes, red and green pepper, tomato, bay leaves, white wine, olive oil, salt, and ground pepper. Then, the Caldeirada uses a variety of fish, like conger, anglerfish, and streak fish. Conversely, the Cataplana emphasizes seafood and spices, with the addition of clams, prawns, and paprika.

For each recipe, layer the ingredients, cook them on medium-low heat, and top with fresh herbs before serving. The result should be a delectable dish with an intensely flavored broth. The only way to improve it is by serving it with some fried crusty bread.

More Portuguese Comfort Foods You Must Try 

Besides its delectable stews, Portuguese cuisine has many more dishes to discover. Learning about and tasting these culinary wonders is also a way to explore Portuguese culture. You can discover much more about Portugal’s history and culture in our exclusive program, The Journey. Check it out! Here are some examples of tasty recipes not to skip.

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At the base of it all is a sound conviction that languages are better learned instinctively, so the process needs to engaging, varied, and enjoyable. Throughout, we used scientifically proven techniques to help you master pronunciation, phrase construction, oral understanding, grammar, and all the necessary bits to get you to fluency. And still, the whole thing is presented as an adventure. It’s a course like no other, trust us!

Bacalhau Recipes

Portuguese are famous for their love of codfish. Of course, many other countries also have renowned cod recipes, like the worldwide recognized Fish and Chips. But Portuguese codfish differs from others because we don’t usually eat it fresh.

Instead, the Iberian tradition is to salt and cure the fish. Then, before cooking it, soak it for up to three days, depending on its size and quality. It’s a long process that requires changing the water every few hours.

Still, this method conserves the codfish and leaves it with a unique taste and texture after cooking. Some of the most renowned and preferred combinations include flaky fish, garlic, potatoes, and parsley. Here are three traditional recipes you should try:

Bacalhau à Lagareiro – Heroing Portuguese Olive Oil

Lagareiro in Portuguese also refers to someone who works in an olive oil mill (Lagar). In this case, it indicates how the protein you choose, generally fish or seafood, will be served. The term describes the warm olive oil and garlic that is poured over it. Dishes à Lagareiro are usually served with roasted potatoes on the side.

Bacalhau à Lagareiro is served with warm olive oil and garlic
Bacalhau a Lagareiro” by F Delventhal, licensed under CC BY 2.0 Deed

Bacalhau à Braz – An Iconic Portuguese Recipe

Bacalhau à Braz is everything you want from so-called comfort food. It’s savory, with just the right amount of grease and all the yummy textures. With almost no prep time, it is a simple recipe that combines cooked shredded cod, shoestring fries, and sauteed onions and garlic.

Pastéis de Bacalhau are crispy cod and potato fried cakes
Pasteis de Bacalhau, Manuel Cozinha Prtugeesa, Shibuya” by Yuichi Sakuraba, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 Deed

You then beat eggs and stir them in. Remove them from the heat when they are no longer liquid but not dry. Top with parsley, black olives, and freshly ground black pepper, and enjoy!

Pastéis de Bacalhau com Arroz de Tomate 

Pastéis de Bacalhau is another dish made with mashed potatoes and codfish. They are crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and seasoned to perfection. With onion and parsley for flavor and egg as a bonding agent, nothing can go wrong.

These addictive Portuguese fried cakes have a traditional quenelle shape. They are even more delicious when served with Arroz de Tomate. This easy side dish is a flavorful rice made with onions, garlic, tomato, and bay leaves.

Soups and Side Dishes

Peixinhos da Horta – The Original Tempura

Peixinhos da Horta (Little Fish From The Garden) is one of the most popular Portuguese snacks and side dishes. The traditional recipe involves battered and fried green beans. Still, you often find other vegetables, like red or green peppers, fried in the same batter.

This technique was a way to conserve vegetables taken in Portuguese ships. Fun fact: did you know the Portuguese were the ones who took the tempura to Japan around the 16th century?

Caldo Verde – A Luscious Soup

Caldo Verde (Green Soup) is a traditional recipe that is satisfying and nourishing. Its origins date back to the 15th century in the Northern regions of Portugal. This soup has pureed potato and onion, sliced collard greens, and a slice of Portuguese chouriço on top.

The recipe is uncomplicated, and you can cook it yourself at home. If you can’t find Portuguese stuffed sausages, use Spanish chorizo. According to the original recipe, enjoy this soup with a glass of wine.

Concluding on Winter Portuguese Stews and Comfort Foods

Even if you don’t love the winter, chances are you love winter food. It is satisfying and comforting, prepared to warm you up and help you resist the cold weather.

With a rich cultural and gastronomic heritage, Portugal has so many delicious winter recipes for you to taste. From the Molha, a traditional beef stew from the Azores, to the famous Bacalhau, your options are endless. You can even cook some of these recipes at home!

Whether you prefer a nutritious stew or a crunchy fried snack, you will find a perfect winter food in Portuguese tradition. Which dish are you most excited to try? Have you ever cooked any of these Portuguese recipes? We would love to know all about your Portuguese culinary experiences!

Do you want to learn more about the European Portuguese language and culture? Follow our social media channels on InstagramFacebook, and YouTube. We regularly post about our home country and its beautiful language! Are you ready to discover authentic Portugal?

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