Cozido is Portuguese for ‘a boiled dinner’, and in the Azores, it’s a very typical way to prepare a meal. Meats or fish are paired with a myriad of veggies and stewed for several hours. In the Azores, they use the local hot springs as a type of oven and the meal is cooked underground using the natural heat.
At Furnas Lake Villas, they allow guests to come along to experience the entire process of cooking a cozido. Furnas Lake is just a 5 minutes drive from the property and surrounded is by natural hot springs. There’s even parking specifically reserved for those picking up their stew!
For the meat cozido, a combination of chicken, beef, chorizo, and blood sausage is nestled into a pot alongside vegetables like potatoes, kale, and carrots. No liquid is added; instead, as the meat renders and the veggies cook down, the juices provide the cooking liquid in which everything stews. The pot is covered and wrapped tightly in towels and burried underground atop a hot spring. After at least 5 hours, the cozido is carefully removed from the heat.
Securely placed in the back of the car, we drove back to Furnas Lake Villas with owner Helena, as heavenly smells filled the car. The twine was untied and towel removed, finally revealing the meal we’d been anticipating all day!
Once everyone got a peek inside, Helena whisked the pot away to properly plate our beautiful lunch. Served family-style, with a huge basket of bread, and a bottle (or two!) of red wine, it was enough to keep us full until the next day. Seeing our meal come together from start to finish was amazing, and knowing it was cooked underground over a natural hot spring somehow made it taste even better!
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