Cacoila is a Portuguese stewed pork dish. Pronounced Ka-sir-la, it is a favorite dish of mine from my childhood and was quite popular with my family and particularly my region of South Eastern Massachusetts with its dense Portuguese population.
Like many recipes, it seems that every family has their own recipe for Cacoila thus no two recipes are identical. What they do have in common is that they generally use an inexpensive cut of beef or pork, are marinated overnight and then simmered for several hours to absolute tenderness and perfection. In fact, a more expensive cut of meat like pork tenderloin, for example, will not work as well with this method of preparation and will lack the fat needed to keep the meat juicy during the long cooking process. Budget friendly cuts of meat like pork butt and pork shoulder will work beautifully for this recipe. Beef is equally delicious and for that I use a cut of meat like stew beef.
- 4 lbs boneless pork butt cut into 1 in cubes
- 1-28 oz can diced, fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
- 1-28 oz can tomato sauce
- 1½ cups of any good red sweet table wine, like Portuguese Madeira Wine.
- 1 large onion, sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon Portuguese Allspice or Paprika
- 1 to 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, more or less for taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- salt and pepper, to taste
- hoagie buns, split, optional
- Place all the ingredients, aside from the sandwich buns, in your crock pot.
- Simmer on low for 8 to 9 hours until the meat just falls apart.
- If you do not have a crock pot, simmer on the stove on low heat. Stir every hour so the meat does not burn.
Beef is equally delicious in this recipe and for that I use a cut of meat like stew beef.