Chouriço Stuffed Roast Beef (Carne Assada com Chouriço)


Carne Assada com Chouriço has always been one of my mother’s signature dishes.  Whenever it is time for a special dinner, you can find her making this delicious somewhat fancy version of Portuguese Roast Beef.  On any given holiday whether alongside the turkey at Thanksgiving, the Codfish at Christmas or the Ham at Easter, most Portuguese people will always serve a secondary main course dish.  My mother loves to make a good Portuguese roast beef.  Sometimes it  is just the traditional version with chouriço and potatoes on the side (which is delicious), but when she has the extra energy, it is done this way.

Any type of beef cut can be used for this process, but I would suggest something that does not have a ton of connective tissue to get through.  You will want something that is rectangular in shape and thick enough to accommodate the chouriço.  What I have used today is a 2 lb. boneless chuck tender roast.  You will then need one link of chouriço.  Whether you chose hot or mild, makes no difference really, it’s all personal preference.  The point is to impart the flavor of the chouriço into the meat.  (And to have a pretty awesome presentation)

The sauce here pulls the entire dish together and allows for added moisture without being a braise.

Start with a beef roast. This one is a 2 lb. boneless chuck tender roast.

You will need one link of chouriço and a good sharp knife. I am using hot chouriço, but mild would be fine here as well.

In order to impart the flavor of the chouriço into the inside of your roast you first need to peel the link like so.

Once your chouriço is ready to go, you can prepare your meat. Your goal will be to make a cut the length of the chouriço as close to the middle of the roast as you can creating a pocket in which to insert the chouriço.

Start with a horizontal cut. Please be careful in this process, you are sort of doing it blindly.

The next cut will help you to form an “X” in the meat. Again this should be the length of the chouriço link.

Next you need to carefully and slowly introduce the chouriço to the meat.

Remember there is a bit of a curve to the link, so easy does it.

Once the meat is stuffed, sprinkle with kosher salt.

Be sure to rub in and let sit until sauce is ready.

The end of your roast may taper off, at this point tuck in so that it can cook more evenly.

Place in a baking dish that will allow for potatoes on either side and not much else. You will want everything to have contact with the sauce.

Chop one large onion.

Place some peeled potatoes in the pan.

Sprinkle with the onions.

To start the sauce, use one 6 oz. can of plain tomato sauce.

Peel about 6 cloves of garlic.


Add to the tomato sauce.

At this point you can also add in some pimenta moida, my mother does, I didn’t on this time around.

Add in some Portuguese All Spice. If you don’t have this spice handy, add in some mild Paprika.

Add in some kosher salt.

Add in olive oil and stir.

Pour sauce over roast and potatoes.

Be sure it is completely covered.

Cover in foil.

After one hour in the oven, remove foil.

Roast in the oven for an additional 30 minutes.

Remove roast from pan and let meat reast. If the potatoes need more time, return them to the oven.

Place foil over the meat for about 10 minutes or so.

After the resting period, slice about 1″ slices.


Carne Assada com Chouriço

Serves 8


1  2lb. beef roast

1 link of chouriço, hot or mild, peeled

8 medium potatoes, peeled

1 onion, chopped

1 6oz. can plain tomato sauce

1 tsp. kosher salt

6 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. Portuguese All Spice or mild paprika

2 Tbs. olive oil

2 Tbs. Pimenta Moida (optional)


Prepare meat by creating a long “X” shaped pocket lengthwise in the meat.  Insert peeled chouriço into the pocket.  Sprinkle meat with some kosher salt and rub in.  Let stand in the roasting pan while preparing the sauce.  Also place potatoes and onions in the roasting pan.

For the sauce:

Combine tomato sauce, oil, garlic, salt, Portuguese All Spice and Pimenta Moida.

Pour sauce over the meat and potatoes.  Cover tightly with foil.  Roast in the oven for 1 hour.  Remove foil, rotate potatoes and return to oven for an additional 1/2 hour.  Remove from oven and allow to rest tented with foil for 10 minutes before cutting.  Slice in 1″ pieces and serve hot.  Enjoy!




Corned Beef & Chouriço Hash


I almost like the day after St. Patrick’s Day even better than the holiday itself.  You might ask why, but if you have ever tried a genuine home-made Corned Beef Hash, it wouldn’t take long to figure out the answer!  Since I always add in a nice link of chouriço to my Corned Beef and Cabbage on St. Paddy’s Day, I like to add it right into the hash the next day.  And wow, the results are amazing, the spiced sausage adds in that little extra kick that sets it apart from any other hash you have ever had!.

This is what your dinner looked like last night.

Refrigerate your boiled dinner over night and this is what you get. You will find the fat has floated to the top making it easy to remove, yay.

Grab some potatoes and corned beef to start with.

Dice up a large onion. I used my Pampered Chef Manual Food Processor because I wanted to speed this process along.

Next dice up your potato. I like a small dice, but not so small that they disintegrate with additional cooking. Remember these potatoes have been boiled, so they are quite tender.

Start by removing any remaining fat on your corned beef. Then cut into strips.


Then do the same to your chouriço. Be sure to first remove the skin.

Sautée your onions.

Then add in your remaining ingredients.  Add in a bit more oil when you add in the potatoes and meat if the onions have soaked up all the oil you originally added in.

Add on some Portuguese All Spice or paprika.

Be sure to give this time to really crisp up, nothing worse than a mushy hash.


Corned Beef & Chouriço Hash

Serves 4-6


1/2 lb. cooked corned beef, diced

1/4 lb. cooked chouriço, diced

4 cooked med/large potatoes, diced

1 large onion, diced

1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more if needed

1/2 tsp. Portuguese All Spice or Smoked Paprika

salt and pepper to taste

top with egg (optional)


Sautée onion in vegetable oil in a large over med/high heat until tender.  Add in potatoes and meat adding additional vegetable oil if needed.  Sprinkle mixture with Portuguese All Spice or Smoked Paprika.  Allow mixture to crisp up mixing only occasionally to allow for caramelization.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with eggs and toast.  Enjoy! 

*Gluten free only if beer was not used in the cooking of the original Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner.


Corned Beef and Cabbage


You might think it’s kind of funny that a blog called ‘The Portuguese American Mom’ has a recipe for the very Irish Corned Beef & Cabbage.  But, it’s something I have always cooked and it’s something we grew up eating each year in my Portuguese household.  I suspect, that has something to do with the similarity between the Irish dish and a traditional Portuguese Cozido.  Either way, at this stage in my life, my husband is part Irish and therefore my children are as well, so I think it’s nice to keep the tradition going.  Besides, we always add in a nice link of chouriço for that Portuguese flare!

When I was 17 we went to St. Michael, Azores as a family and on the “To Buy” list my mother had, was an old-fashioned stove top pressure cooker.  A pressure cooker is meant to drastically cut down the cooking time of just about anything using the power of trapped steam.  The craftsmen in Portugal made them in such a way that was impossible to find in this country with some sort of fortified heavy-duty steal.  And so when she came back she used it for EVERYTHING.  However, those stove top pressure cookers can tend to be quite dangerous and anyway, over the years it got lost in the shuffle.  So, I was super excited to get this ultra safe electric model for Christmas from my mom. This machine takes meals that otherwise take 3-4 even 5 hours and has them ready to serve in 30 minutes or less!  No way you say?  How is that possible you ask?  Well… let me tell you, this is my first attempt and it surely did work!

If you don’t have a pressure cooker you can surely make this on your stove top or even leave it in your slow cooker on your way to work in the morning.  The ingredients are basically the same, but for stove top, you need to triple the liquid (for the slow cooker, the liquid measurements stay the same).

This is an 8 qt. electric pressure cooker. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, this can absolutely be done the old-fashioned way in a big stock pot. It just takes about 3-4 hours of cooking time and about triple the liquid.

Add one can of lite beer. I know you may be tempted to use an Irish beer here, but if it’s a dark ale, please don’t. All the flavors will get very concentrated and that is not the way to go here. So, if you have a lite one, that’s fine, but please no dark.

This is what most people buy when buying a corned beef. You can either by the point end or a flat piece, it’s all personal preference and will likely cost you the same.

See that fat slab? Place that face down.

Now the fleshy side is face up and waiting for all the ingredients you will pile up on top.

Start by cutting a fresh piece of cabbage. I use about 1/2 a head. If you prefer more, then use more.

I am using Yukon Gold potatoes. I actually put double what I think we will eat with the meal because I like to have left over for hash the next morning.

Peel a couple of medium onions. Makes no difference what kind of onion you use really although a red onion might look a little funny.

Wash and cut up a couple of carrots. I leave the skin in tact here as there are lots of great nutrients in there. Plus the skin helps it stay in tact a little better so you don’t end up with carrot mush.

All of these get strew atop the beef.

I also put a good size sweet potato in there just because it’s yummy.

Careful not to throw out this little bundle of flavor that will likely be tucked into the packaging of your meat.

This is a mixture of whole pickling spices such as allspice, coriander, mustard seed, pepper, fennel seed, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and dill seed.

Fill that empty beer can you just used with water and add it in.

Top with a link of hot chouriço that has slits cut along the bendy side.

This is everything. Set the pressure cooker for 30 minutes.

Be sure to depressurize your machine fully before attempting to open.

My machine will now keep this warm until dinner.

Remove all contents to a nice size platter and serve!


Corned Beef & Cabbage

Serves 4-6[/yield


2-4 lb. Corned Beef, rinsed

6-8 potatoes, with slit cut in

4 carrots, cut into 3″ links

2 onions, peeled

1/2 head cabbage

1 large sweet potato

1/2 lb. hot chouriço link, with 4-5 slits cut into skin

spice packet

1 lite beer

12 oz. water

Pressure cooker directions:

Add everything into pressure cooker, set for 30 minutes, press start.  When done, release the pressure using the pressure release valve, open and serve hot.

Stove top directions:

Add everything into pot plus 36 oz more water.  Boil for 4 hours until meat is fully cooked and tender. Serve hot.

Slow cooker directions:

Add everything to pot and set to cook for 8 hours. Serve hot. 

*** Gluten-free if using a gluten-free beer or omiting the beer altogether.


Beef Tostada


I am always looking to save money.  Food is not cheap.  So, when I spend $23 on a roast, I like to be sure I get the most bang for my buck and re-heating the same ole dish night after night until the whole thing has been consumed to the point where I don’t want to think about making another roast for 3 months is not my idea of innovative left overs.  However, This tostada has transformed my left over pot roast into something completely new and delicious.  It has also enabled me to save time and money, both things I really appreciate as a busy mom of two very active toddlers.

I added exactly one ingredient to turn this beef into a Latin delight.  I then whipped up some Quick Mexican Black Beans, microwaved some rice in my Pampered Chef rice cooker, fried up some simple tortilla shells and got to work assembling.  All this was done in well under 20 minutes.  And you can’t tell me that looking at this dish, it doesn’t look a lot more time-consuming than that!  It’s almost, dare I say it, fancy looking for our Tuesday night dinner.  I put this on a plate in front of my husband and I quote… “Wow, WHAT is this?” was the reaction…. Now, tell me, when was the last time leftovers garnered that kind of reaction in your house?  Well, then maybe it’s time to shake things up a bit?

You will want to have a few things on hand of course. For me these things are all pantry staples, a can of beans, rice, Pampered Chef Chili Lime Rub, and  tortillas.  And from the fridge, some onions, peppers and sour cream.

These are 6″ white corn tortillas.

Start by heating some canola or vegi oil up to about 325°F in a small dutch oven. You want to make sure your pan will be able to accommodate the size of your tortilla and have a good amount of space between the oil and the rim of the pan to prevent over flow.

Once oil has come up to temperature, cook tortillas one at a time until golden brown, flipping half way through the process.

Drain on a paper towel or paper bag lined tray.

Salt while still hot.

I got fancy here at the end and cut a few tortillas up for garnishing chips on the top.

This is my left over pot roast. If you don’t have left over pot roast, you can always use left over steak or chicken or pork.

To serve 4 people, I picked out two good size slices of left overs.

With two forks, I shred the beef into a skillet.

I only add one ingredient to take this pot roast from Sunday dinner to Latin fiesta! My Pampered Chef Chili Lime Rub.

Add the rub in with the shredded beef and saute for a couple of minutes to heat through and bloom the spices.

Now to start building. I start with an 8″ plate. This meal does not require sides because everything is piled right up on top.

Place one shell at the bottom. This is your base.

Now add on about 3/4 cooked rice. I am using plain white rice here, it’s actually Jasmine rice because that is what I have on hand, but any kind of plain rice will do. You don’t really need a flavored rice here because you are adding on some strong flavors already and you wouldn’t want the rice to compete with that.

Now add on about 1/2 cup of Quick Mexican Black Beans.

Now for the next layer of tortilla.

Then piled on top of that is your beef.

I then top that with some sour cream. To this I will garnish with chopped scallions and my little tortilla strips.


Beef Tostada

Yield 4


8 6″corn tortillas

1-11/2 cups left over roast beef, pot roast or steak

1 Tbs. Chili Lime Rub

3 cups white rice 

2 cups Quick Mexican Black Beans

sour cream (optional)

3-4 cups veg. oil

kosher salt


In a small dutch oven bring oil to 330°F-350°F.  Fry each tortilla seperately until golden.  Drain on paper towels and salt immediately.

In a small skillet shred beef and cook with Chili Lime Rub until heated through.

Build your tostada by placing one shell on plate, then add 3/4 cup rice, then 1/2 cup beans, then add another tortilla, then top with beef and a dollup of sour cream.  Serve hot. Enjoy!


American Chop Suey


I call this meal the “IhavegroundbeefinmyfridgeandIhavenoideawhattomakefordinner” meal option.  True, sometimes I will actually crave a good American Chop Suey with its saucy ground beef, savory onions and warm filling maccaroni, but honestly most times I make this meal it is out of sheer panic! American Chop Suey is 9/10ths pantry food items and 1/10th fresh (or frozen) meat.  It is something the whole family loves and it is easy to change-up by adding in mix-in’s like a can of corn, making it a quick and easy Sheppard’s Pie substitute or sprinkling some mozzarella cheese on top, making it into a sort of easy skillet lasagna!

This here is your basic, good old-fashioned American Chop Suey recipe.  No frills, no fuss, just ground beef, onions, pasta, sauce and a few (quite literally 3) seasonings.  It is by far one of the easiest weeknight dinners that any home cook can throw together in well under 30 minutes!  Just about every other week or so, I pick up a package of family size ground beef.  A little more often if I find that it is on sale in the interim weeks.  But, unlike the steak I pick up or the full chicken I plan to turn into a stock and use the meat in various recipes, I often don’t really have a plan for what to do with this American staple.  I just pick it up thinking, well if I don’t think of anything, I can just freeze it.  Although, I usually end up using at least half of it if not all of it throughout the week.  Sometimes though, I look at it and say, yep, I have no other fresh meat in the fridge, what am I going to do with you! Sometimes I have the time to lovingly labor over a beautiful Lasagna or I am all about making a big pot of Minestrone Soup… but, sometimes I am in a hurry and just want to get a quick dinner on the table.  There is no quicker meal utilizing pantry items than this.  Also, this recipe can be easily adjusted to feed a couple, a family of 4 or a crowd of 15+.

I can never seem to get a good price on ground beef unless I buy this ginormous 3+ pound package… so what I do, to save myself strife, is to brown it all up with a touch of salt all at once, then portion it out for different meals either throughout the week or sometimes I will even freeze the already browned meat.

I use my giant 14″ Pampered Chef Deep Covered Skillet and get it all done at once. If you don’t have a large enough skillet to accommodate th amount of meat you have, do this in stages, there is nothing worst than over crowding a pan of ground meat as the meat will end up boiling instead of browning and you will get grey meat without a lot of flavor.

See here how there is space for all 3lbs.? This is what you are looking for.

Use one large onion and do a large dice on it.

I removed two pounds of meat along with most of the fat and leave the remaining pound in the skillet.

Next, I add in the onions.

Mince some fresh garlic.

Add in the garlic after the onions start to soften.

Use an Italian seasoning blend along with a little kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper for seasoning.

The trick to using dried spices is to be sure to rub the spices in your fingers first and then put it right into the fat in the hot skillet to bloom it’s flavor.

I like using good old-fashioned elbow macaroni for this recipe.

Cook to the package instructions.

Once your onions and garlic have had time to soften and cook through, add in a small 6oz. can of plain tomato sauce.

Mix this together and add in about 6 oz. of the pasta cooking water too (so just fill your empty sauce can with water).

Add in your maccaroni and stir.



American Chop Suey

Serves 4-6


1 lb. ground beef, browned

1 large onion, diced medium/large

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 lb. elbow maccaroni, cooked to package instructions

1 6 oz. can plain tomato sauce

6 oz. pasta cookingwater from elbow maccaroni

1 tsp. Italian Seasoning blend

1 tsp. kosher salt

1./2 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper


Drain browned ground beef of most of the residual fat from cooking.  Add onions into a large skillet until tender over a medium heat on the stovetop.  Add in garlic, cook about 2-3 additional minutes. Add in Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, cook another minute.  Add in sauce and water and combine.  Add in maccaroni and stir, cook to combine an additional 3-4 minutes.  Taste for salt and enjoy!

*To make gluten-free, just replace elbow maccaroni with the gluten-free variety.





Chris’ No-bean Chili


We had a great time getting together with some friends over the weekend as we headed over to their house for some fun family time.  There was good football, great company and some yummy food.  The Patriots have secured their spot in the AFC Championship game and it’s always fun spending time with some of our favorite people, but there is nothing like planning “football food” for dinner!

A couple weeks ago my girlfriend Michelle and I decided it was time for a get together.  It is always hard managing our two schedules, but we found a date and there happened to be a Patriot’s playoff game the same night. So we decided “football food” would make up our dinner menu!  Michelle made some amazing BBQ Chicken Nachos (recipe soon to come!) and I decided to make Chili.  But, her husband Chris is not a big fan of beans so my standard 5-Bean Crockpot Chili just wasn’t going to cut it this time.  So time to invent an all new No-bean Chili recipe.  Hense, “Chris’ No-Bean Chili” was born.

This Chili can easily be adjusted to be made gluten-free by swapping out the beef base I use for a gluten-free beef stock and eliminating the water.  You could also add beans in if you like.  But, for the purposes of this get together, it was beanless.  Which actually is the only way many people will even consider it to be real chili, not so much up north, but in the south that is very much true.  The point is, take this and make it your own.  In addition to just serving up the bowl of chili, we also served it over hot dogs with mustard, cheese and onions for a Chili Cheese Dog with the works!  But, that will come later.  Stay tuned!

Now onto the recipe!  Take a look!

Start with 2 1/2 lbs. ground beef. Salt with kosher salt at this point seasoning the beef.

Brown and set aside.

Dice a large onion into a small dice.

Saute in olive oil over medium heat. Add in a pinch of kosher salt. This will take between 8-10 minutes.

De-stem and wash a jalapeno pepper.

Remove the seeds and pith., then dice and add to the onions.

Crush some garlic with the flat of your knife.

Then mince.

Continue to saute with the jalepeno and garlic for 3-4 minutes over medium heat.

Add in a heaping tablespoon of beef base. If you are making this gluten-free, you will need to use a gluten-free beef stock in place of the water that will be added later. This Minors brand is not gluten-free.

Add beef base to sauteed vegetables.

Add in a can of fire roasted dice tomatoes and a can of Ro-tel tomatoes. Ro-tel are great because they include chilis in with the tomatoes.

Add two cans of water.

Add in spices.

Stir. Add in some fresh cracked black pepper.

Add in two tablespoons of tomato paste.

Add in one small can of tomato sauce.

Simmer on low for about an hour reducing the liquid by about half.

Stir every once in a while to check in it taste for salt and serve.


Chris’ No-Bean Chili

Serves 6-8


2 1/2 lbs. ground beef, browned

1 large onion, finely diced

1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced

1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes

1 can Ro-tel tomatoes with chilis

1 6 oz. can tomato sauce

2 Tbs. tomato paste

1 heaping Tbs. beef base

3 tsp. kosher salt, divided

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper

1 dried whole Ancho chili

1 Tbs. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

24 oz. water

Additional optional fixin’s:

sour cream

shredded cheddar

soaked minced onions

tortilla chips


Brown ground beef adding about 1 tsp kosher salt, drain and set aside.  In the same pot add 2 Tbs. olive oil. Saute onions, adding a pinch of salt, 8-10 minutes over medium heat until soft.  Add in jalapeno and garlic, continue to saute an additional 3-4 minutes.  Add in beef base and cook for about 30 seconds.  Add beef back into the pot, stir.  Add in tomatoes.  Add in 2 cans (Ro-tel cans) of water, stir.  Add in spices, stir.  Add in tomato sauce, black pepper and tomato paste, stir.  Simmer over low heat for about an hour until liquid is reduced by about half.  Serve with fixings of your choosing and enjoy!

*** Gluten-free adjustment – In place of beef base, use a gluten-free beef stock and eliminate water.

Slice for easy serving and enjoy!

BBQ Meatloaf


Who could have ever thought that one of the absolute healthiest recipes in my repertoire would be a classic comfort food?  Between growing up in a Portuguese household and my father’s distaste for the dish, meatloaf was never ever on my radar until later in life when I dated someone who absolutely loved it.  He also loved BBQ ANYTHING. But, he was also super health conscious… I do love a good challenge though… So, I thought to myself, “Self… why not combine his favorite meal with his favorite flavor and figure out a way to make it healthy for a special stay at home ‘healthy’ date?!”  And the Healthy BBQ Meatloaf was born.

Although the relationship ended many many moons ago, this recipe has stood the test of time and been requested by friends and family time and time again over the years.  So I stopped calling it a “Healthy BBQ Meatloaf” and just call it plain ole “BBQ Meatloaf” and people know no difference. Where as a traditional meatloaf is made with ground beef, pork and veal, this version uses a combination of lean ground beef and ground turkey.  And honestly, I would put this meatloaf recipe up against the fattiest version your great Aunt Melba ever made!

What I like to do quite often is make up a double batch and freeze half.  My husband is not a big meatloaf fan in general.  His not growing up Portuguese left him scarred by meatloafs past.  So, this is something I make for my kids (who love it), friends (who instantly ask for the recipe) and my in-laws (who get excited to have it after their son’s avoidance of it). It’s great paired with a Basic Mashed Potato and green beans as seen above or real special with a home-made 4-Cheese Mac&Cheese and Pan Seared Asparagus.  It’s super easy to put together and even easier to pull out of the freezer and pop into the oven!

Start with 90% lean ground beef and ground turkey.

Add in two eggs.

Add in bread crumbs. These are just some home-made bread crumbs I happen to have on hand, if you don’t have home-made ones, you can just use store-bought. I go back and forth depending on what I have on hand.

Add those right into your bowl. If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, this works great with gluten-free bread crumbs.

Dice up some onions. I like a relatively small dice. This is up to your preference.

Dice up some celery. Again, I like a small dice.

Heat a small skillet with a bit of olive oil.

Saute onions and celery until soft.

Add in italian spices.

Add in ground sage. If you have some fresh sage, that’s good too, just be sure to mill it pretty well.

Add in some salt and pepper.

Now mix.

Allow to cool for about 5 minutes off the heat. Then add into your bowl.

Once your onions and celery have been fully incorporated, form into a loaf in a pan.

Drizzle with BBQ sauce of your chosing.

At this point, you can either refrigerate for later or the next day, bake in the oven for about 45 minutes or freeze. I have done all three options and they have all worked out nicely.

Because of the little fat content in the meat itself, the loaf doesn't reduce quite as much as your traditional meatloaf.

Because of the little fat content in the meat itself, the loaf doesn’t reduce quite as much as your traditional meatloaf.

Remove from the loaf pan discarding any remaining fat from the sides and place on a serving plate.

Slice for easy serving and enjoy!


BBQ Meatloaf

Serves 4-6


1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

2 eggs

1/2 lb. 90% lean ground beef

1/2 lb. ground turkey

1/4 cup diced onions

1/4 cup diced celery

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning mix

1/4 tsp. dry sage or 1 tsp. fresh sage, minced

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper

1 tsp. olive oil

1/4 cup BBQ sauce plus more for dipping

1/4 fat free milk (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a bowl mix meats, eggs, bread crumbs and seasonings.

In a small skillet heat olive oil and add in onions and celery.  Saute until soft.  Let stand off heat for 5 minutes or so. Then add into mixing bowl.

Form into a loaf shape in a loaf pan.  Glaze top with BBQ sauce.  Bake uncovered for 1 hour.  Remove from pan and serve on serving plate with extra BBQ sauce on the side.


***Make this gluten-free by substituting gluten-free bread crumbs and being sure the BBQ sauce is gluten-free.


Pot Roast with Mushroom Gravy


I don’t know about you, but after the third turkey leftover meal, I am about done with turkey for a while.  It’s time to change things up come December and I’ve got a special treat to kick things off.  Nothing says good old American ‘stick to your ribs’ comfort good like Pot Roast!  And with my recipe for Pot Roast with Mushroom Gravy, it’s a one pot meal you will be sure to keep in your Sunday dinner arsenal.

Start by clipping some bacon into a dutch oven. I am using my Pampered Chef Roc Crock Dutch Oven.

Cook bacon until crisp and set aside. Reserve the bacon fat in the pan.

I am using a 3lb. Boneless Chuck Roast for this recipe.

Use a good kosher salt in this recipe.

Spread the salt evenly on all sides of the meat. You can do this ahead of time if you like. Doing it up to 8 hours ahead of time allows the salt to really get into the meat.

Dredge all sides of the meat in flour.

Shake off the excess.

Place meat in the heated bacon grease on med/high heat.

It’s o.k. for this process to take time, you really can’t rush it. The more patience you have during this step in the process, the more flavor you will have in your dish.

Peel and cut carrots into 2″-3″ segments.

These are little red potatoes, the largest is probably 2″ in diameter.

Add carrots in over the potatoes.

Over the carrots and potatoes add in a couple stems each of rosemary and thyme.

Next, place the meat on top of the potatoes and carrots. Then spread frozen pearl onions on top of that.

Add in red wine.

Cover and place in a preheated oven at 275°F for about 3 hours.



You can use any type of domestic or portabella mushroom in this or really whichever kind you like. These white button mushrooms were on sale this week, so that’s what I used here. You want to brush them clean, no water and cut off any really blackened ends.

Quarter the mushrooms. I like quartering in this instance because I like more of a chunck to this gravy. If you like them smaller, by all means chop them up however you see fit. If you don’t happen to care for mushrooms, you can of course omit them.

Now it’s time for your reserved crispy bacon.

Melt a half a stick of butter into your pan. Remember you poured your liquid into another container for now, so your pot should look like this one.

Grab one large clove of garlic.

Slice it up pretty thinly.

Saute garlic, mushrooms and bacon in the butter.

I am using flour to thicken the gravy. If you are doing this in a gluten free mannor, swap out the flour for cornstarch.

Spread the flour over the contentts of then pan. Mix it around and cook for a minute or two.

Now add in your reserved cooking liquid.

Bring the liquid up to a boil for about one minute, then shut off and serve in a gravy boat.

Pot Roast with Mushroom Gravy


3lb. Chuck Roast

1 cup flour or corn flour

2 Tbs. kosher salt

Olive oil for frying.

4 medium carrot

9 small red potatoes

1 cup pearl onions

2 sprigs rosemary

2 sprigs thyme

3 slices of bacon

1-1 1/2 cups red wine 


Salt all sides of the meat. Dredge in flour and shake off ane excess. Fry up the chopped bacon, remove bacon and set aside for gravy, reserve fat in pan.  While on med/high, sear all sides of beef.  remove and set aside to build pot.  Place potatoes in bottom of pan, then top with carrots, rosemary and thyme.  Place beef on vegetables and top with pearl onions. Add in 1-1/1/2 cups of red wine.

For gravy:

1/2 stick butter

1/4 cup flour or corn starch

6 mushrooms, quartered

1 garlic clove, sliced

reserved bacon bits

1 1 1/2- 2  cups reserved liquid from roast

salt and pepper to taste


Melt butter into the pot where the roast was made.  Add in garlic, bacon and mushroom, saute.  Once mushrooms are tender add in flour.  Cook flour for about a minute or two while stirring.  Add in reserved cooking broth.  Bring to a boil for about one minute or so.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

*By switching from flour to corn flour and corn starch, this recipe can easily become gluten-free.


Portuguese Style Braised Short Ribs (Pequenas Costeletas Refogadas)


I love a good old-fashioned Portuguese recipe that has been passed down generation after generation as much as the next person, but this is not it.  This recipe is purely my Portuguese cooking skills put to use with an updated combination of ingredients.  The braising method isn’t something that I grew up with, but in this dish, it’s perfect.  I even so so far as to serve this over mashed potatoes! Let’s get crazy now! So, if you are in the mood for something Portuguese that is a bit different from anything you’ve ever tried, check this out!

Someone asked me once about my Portuguese Beef Stew, what is it that makes it “Portuguese” exactly?  My response was that the combination of spices, the use of Portuguese sausage and the specific ingredients are what makes it “Portuguese”.  Like many nationalities, Portuguese cooking has it’s go-to ingredients, paprika, garlic, onions etc.  Then there are some ingredients like Pimenta Moida (Portuguese Ground Pepper) that are very specific to Portuguese cuisine.  If you get a handle on exactly what makes something “Portuguese”, you can really make almost anything “Portuguese Style”.  And that is what I’ve done for you today.

Of course with all that being said… there are probably thousands of ways to make something “Portuguese Style”.  This is the “Portuguese Style” that I grew up with.  And that has a lot to do with where my family is from.  My mother’s family is from the village of Povoação and my father’s family is from the village of Rabo de Peixe which are both in St. Michael, Azores, Portugal, but on opposite sides of the island separated by mountains.  Now that may not seem like a big deal now… but, when flavor profiles were being developed long before people had cars to travel to and from villages and up and down mountains, each village made their own style of “Portuguese Style” food and they were just a little different.  Both villages are located on the ocean and so they both accepted spice traders from all over the world making the spices they cook with a bit different.  So, MY “Portuguese Style” is mostly a combination of the styles in those two villages and by extension a combination of spices from all over the world! How awesome is that?

Let me show you how I made this “Portuguese Style” dish…

Start with some short ribs… Now I made this as a small meal for my husband and myself, but you could easily double the meat in this recipe.

Short ribs are especially delicious because of all this connective tissue… And braising it will render a good amount of that fat.

Salt and pepper the meat well.

Instead of using a more traditional chopped onion, I am throwing my spin on this dish by making it with pearl onions… Now, if you have fresh pearl onions and the constitution to peel and prepare each and every one, more power to you. I, although love doing almost everything from scratch, take help from the store on this one and get the already prepped perfectly delicious frozen pearl onions.

Put them into a colander in your sink, run a bit of warm water over then and allow them to drip dry for a while before use.

Use one garlic clove per piece of short rib… In my case I’m using 7 garlic cloves.

I am using a pot that is just large enough to accommodate my short ribs… you don’t want them getting lost but you don’t want them over crowded either. If you don’t have a pot that will manage this, you will want to sear your meat in batches. You also need to be sure that what ever you are using is oven safe as this is a one-pot dish. (if you don’t have anything, you will also need a baking dish with a lid or some good aluminum foil.)

Add in a good quality cooking olive oil.

And grab your favorite set of tongs. These are my Pampered Chef tongs, i love the grips on them.

Once your oil is good and hot over medium/high heat, place each short rib in.

Allow them to sear for a few minutes on each side until browned.

Don't play with them.  Let them sear for at least 3-4 minutes... this will take time.

Don’t play with them. Let them sear for at least 3-4 minutes… this will take time.

But, this is the reward… after about 20 minutes of searing, you get these beautifully caramelized pieces of meat… remove and place on a plate while you make the rest of the dish.

You will have some awesome drippings in the bottom of your pan, you will use those now… add the drained onions to it.

Once the onions start to caramelize, add in the garlic.

Then add in your crushed red pepper… A warning here, the way my family makes red pepper, it is more for flavor and not so much for heat… so I am adding in about 1/4 cup of it. If your pepper is hotter, you will need to adjust this amount accordingly.

In a lot of my Portuguese recipes, you will find me using tomato sauce because that is how my mother cooks… but, I wanted a less saucy and more concentrated flavor here, so I add in about 2 Tablespoons of tomato paste instead. Have you seen these tubes of tomato paste? They are great!

Next, I add in about 3/4 of a can of domestic beer. Nothing with too strong a flavor.

Now grab your resting meat and add it and the juices that made their way onto the plate back in.

You want to nestle each piece right into the onions.

Cover your pot and pop it in a 275°F oven for about 1 hour and 45 minutes or so. (It won’t mean the end of the world if you forget it until 2 hours and it also won’t be the end of the world if you are super hungry and need to pull it out at 1 hour and a half… but, I found this to be the perfect timing).

And this is what comes out of your oven!


Serve over some buttery mashed potatoes.

Serve over some buttery mashed potatoes.

Portuguese Style Braised Short Ribs

Serves 2-4


8-16 short ribs (8 to serve 2 or 4 to serve 4)

1 bag frozen pearl onions

1/4 cup Portuguese crushed red pepper

8 cloves of garlic, crushed and peeled

3/4 can of domestic beer

2 Tbls. tomato paste

1 tsp. Portuguese Allspice

kosher salt

fresh cracked black pepper

olive oil


Pre-heat oven to 275°F.  Before you begin take the short ribs out of the fridge generously sprinkle with salt and pepper and let sit out for about 20-30 minutes and defrost the pearl onions.

Place a pot over medium heat and add in a few Tbls. of olive oil.  Sear the meat on each side until browned, this process should take about 20 minutes. Remove the meat from the pot and set aside.  To the drippings, add in the pearl onions and saute until starting to caramelize.  Add in garlic. Add in Allspice, tomato paste and beer.  Then add in short ribs including any drippings from the plate they were placed on.  Cover and place in oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and taste for salt and pepper. Serve over something plain like mashed potatoes or white rice.  Enjoy!


Portuguese Beef Stew (Carne Guisada)


My Vavô had Portuguese soup for supper every night when he got home from work, but Sunday’s were reserved for his favorite meal… Beef Stew. In St. Michael meat was expensive, much too expensive to have on a regular basis.  So, when the family moved to the United States and a better life was set before them, my Vavô worked hard to achieve that better life for his family and to enjoy such luxuries in life as Beef Stew on Sundays.

Fernando Mota, my Vavô, achieved what he wanted for his family, he bought a home, became a U.S. citizen, paid taxes, raised three children, had several grandchildren and a few great-grandchildren before he passed away.  He achieved the American dream in every sense of the term.  Now all three of his children continue what he began by working hard, owning homes and helping their children and grandchildren to achieve the same and better.  I wish my children could sit at a table with their great grandparents and enjoy a big bowl of Beef Stew.  But, the next best thing is to chronicle these little details of my grandparents lives for them to learn about as they grow up.  And food is a wonderful place to begin that journey of remembering and telling family stories.  I like to use food as a vehicle to help my children to stay rooted in their heritage.

My family’s Beef Stew recipe is a melt in your mouth favorite, meant to be enjoyed with a good piece of Portuguese bread to sop up the molho (gravy/broth).  You won’t find vegetables as you might in a traditional American Beef Stew, it’s made up of mainly meat and potatoes.  And the flavors are out of this world with pepper, onion, garlic and spices.  Take a look and see how we do it…

Start by taking your meat out of the fridge… you want it to come to room temperature. This dinner is meant for my small family, so I used just over a pound of chopped up beef, the packaging said “stew meat”.

Start preparing your ingredients by dicing one med/large onion.

1/2 lb. or 1 link of hot portuguese chouriço. If you like things a little less spicy, mild is fine too.

Peel the chouriço.


Collect about 8 or 9 medium all-purpose potatoes. Nothing fancy here.

Peel them.

Chop them up.

And finally… One large clove of garlic.


Add some olive oil to a large pot and heat over medium heat.

Add your onions in.

Next, add in your chouriço.

Add in your meat before you add in any liquid… sautée.

Add garlic to the pot.

Use 1/2 tsp. of Portuguese Allspice.

Add in one heaping Tbs. of crushed red pepper. This is not a terribly spicy pepper, it has some kick, but definitely mild in comparison to some hot sauces out there.

Add in potatoes.

Add in one full beer then refill that bottle with water and add in.

You should come right up to the top of your meat and potatoes with liquid, if it’s a little over, don’t worry, it will all soak in nicely.

Add in 1/2 a small can of tomato sauce.

Add in 1/2 a small can of tomato sauce.

Add in a pinch of salt to help with the seasoning of the potatoes, but don’t go nuts here, the pepper and the chouriço both have a good amount of salt in them as it is.

Simmer with the lid on over a med/low burner.

You should stir this every once in a while throughout the simmer.

In order to make this recipe work, this next part is essential. You need to cook this low and slow not only until the potatoes are tender, but until they just about fall apart on you. It’s the starch from the potato that brings the thickness to the molho (gravy/broth). Once the potatoes cook as described, taste for salt.



Recipe for Portuguese Beef Stew (Carne Guisada):

(serves 4)

2 lbs. chopped stew meat

1/2 lb. Portuguese hot chouriço, sliced

1 med/lg. onion, diced

1 clove fresh garlic, crushed and peeled

8-9 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

12 oz beer (or red wine for gluten-free preparation)

12 oz water

1/2 small 8 oz. can tomato sauce

1 heaping Tbs. crushed red pepper

1/2 tsp Portuguese Allspice

pinch of salt

olive oil

(additional cooking water may be needed to keep moist during the cooking process)


Once all the ingredients are prepped, heat a large pot with a few Tbs. olive oil over medium heat. Add in onions, sautée for a couple minutes.  Add in chouriço and stew meat.  Stir.  Add in  Allspice, garlic, and pepper, stir.  Add in potatoes, beer, water, salt and tomato sauce.  Stir. Cover and simmer over a med/low burner stirring about every 10 minutes or so.  Cook for at least 1 – 1 1/2 hours until potatoes are extremely tender. (If during that hour and a half you see that it is starting to get dry before the potatoes are very well cooked, add in additional water, beer or wine accordingly)

Enjoy with a fresh Portuguese roll!

*note: This is a gluten-free recipe with the swapping out of beer for wine or as always gluten-free beer.

*note: to make your own Portuguese Allspice: combine 1/2 cup plain paprika (not smoked or spicy), 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp. grated orange rind

*note: this can easily be made in a slow cooker, 8 hrs on low, just be sure when it is done, potatoes are beyond tender