|The mighty Fuehrer of the sausage people|
Despite Portugal’s long Atlantic coast and fame for producing excellent fish and seafood dishes, meat is an essential part of Portuguese gastronomy and has traditionally been the basis of many dishes in inland, mountainous regions, particularly in the north of the country. Each region has a long list of specialities. The Alentejo is famous for its pork and Trás-os-Montes for its cured meats.
Prosciutto, chourizo, speck…We all know the delights of these cured meats but there is one that seems to have been bypassed. Lost maybe but never forgotten, the Portuguese Salpicão flags a long way behind its big brother the mighty Chouriço. This cured sausage, traditionally from the Portuguese region of Tras-os-Montes (Meaning “Beyond the Mountains”) is specifically made from the loin of pork which has been marinated for a week in a mixture of spices, garlic and wine. It is the leanest of all cured meats, trust me, pure loin with delicious hints of bay. Please let’s give this beautiful meat a second coming and let it shine as it used to, hanging from artesan butchers hooks.For a simple summer lunch slice it thinly and throw it over the top of a dressed rocket salad topped with some caper berries.
|A fine example of Cozido à Portuguesa|
Cozido à Portuguesa (Portuguese stew): If you're looking for a traditional dish, this is it! Made with several traditional smoked meats (smoked sausage, spare ribs, pig's trotters, smoked ham, salted pork fat, bacon), boiled carrots, potatoes, cabbage and turnip, this dish is one of the national favourites.