Cozido ~Boiled Dinner

Image credit to Terra Nostra Hotel

My mom served a boiled dinner for our Sunday lunch at least once a month when I was growing up. She knew it was one of my dad’s favorite meals, and it also leaves plenty of leftovers for the week. We knew she would turn the stock into a soup. Then, after a few days, whatever was still left would get mixed with eggs and turned into several tortas. We would stuff these into fresh pop to have amazing sandwiches.



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3 lbs of beef shanks with meat

2 lbs of pork shanks with meat

1 lb of pork ribs cut in half

1/2 lb of fresh bacon back, in one piece

1 lb of Chourico

1 lb of blood sausage (morcela), wrapped and tied in cheese cloth

1 bunch of fresh kale, clean and stems cut

1 small cabbage, cut into wedges

6 potatoes, peeled and cut in half

1 large onion, whole

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered

4 carrots, peeled and cut in half

2 bay leafs

3/4 cups of rice, rinsed and placed in rice ball

2 springs of mint, placed in rice ball

If you need a good stockpot, this T-Fal model from Amazon is highly rated and very big: 12 quarts and easy to clean up!


The night before, you will need to salt the bacon back, pork shanks, and ribs and leave them covered in the refrigerator. Season the beef shanks separately with salt, pepper, and a little cinnamon, and also refrigerate overnight. 

 The following morning, fill a large stockpot halfway with water and add all the meat. Over medium heat bring to a boil and cook until all the excess fat raises to the top of the pan. Then remove all meat out of the pan and discard the water

Clean the pan and refill halfway with water again, and add all the meat, chourico, bacon back, bay leaves, onion, and cook until meat is tender and you can stick a fork right through it,  about 1-2 hours. Since the morcela doesn’t take that long to cook,  add it about a half-hour before the meats are cooked.  

Once all the meats are cooked remove them from the pan and set them aside. Add the carrots, potatoes, and the rice ball and bring the broth back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add the cabbage, cut side down and the kale last and continue to cook for 30 minutes.   

The boiled dinner is served on several trays, one for the meats, one for the vegetables, and one for the rice.


  • My mom would cook rice in the boiled dinner by using a rice ball. The broth cooks the rice and makes the rice take on all the flavors of the dinner and the mint brings it to another level of taste.
  • The reason it’s cooked in the cheese cloth is that the casing on it is very thin and sometimes burst while cooking. 
  • If you run out of room in the pot, have a separate pot set up and fill with broth from the larger pot and cook some of the vegetables separately.
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