sideDish: Portuguese Stuffing

Hosted by

sideDish is a bonus podcast series produced by Good Food

David Leite is the author of The New Portuguese Table.  He is also the publisher of Leite's Culinaria.      

Grandma Costa's Dressing (migas da minha vovó costa)

1/4 lb thick sliced slab bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces
1 lb chouriço linguiça, or dry cured smoked spanish chorizo, roughly chopped
olive oil if needed
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2/3 cup dry white wine
3 tsp "amped-up red pepper paste" (recipe below)
2 Tablespoons double concentrate tomato paste
12 cups 3/4 inch cubes of day-old rustic bread
about 2 cups homemade beef stock, plus 1 cup water or 3 cups store-bought low sodium broth
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley leaves

1. Heat a dutch oven over medium-low heat.  Add bacon and cook, stirring often, until fat is rendered and meaty bites are crisp, 12 to 15 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels.  Pour off all but a thin film of fat from the pot into a cup and reserve.  Bump up the heat to medium high, add the chouriço or chorizo, and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a bowl.  Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat, adding it to the bacon fat.  If the pan is dry, add 2 tablespoons of oil.

2. Lower the heat to medium, add the onions, and cook until soft, 7 to 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and the pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute more.  Splash in the wine, add the red pepper paste and tomato paste, scrape up any stuck-on bits, then let burble for a few minutes to cook the mixture.

3. Turn the heat to low, add the bread and the reserved bacon and chouriço fats, and pour in just enough of the stock-water combination, beating well with a spoon, to make the mixture moist.  If you use all the liquid and the pot is still dry, add water as necessary.  Fold in the bacon and chouriço and continue beating to lighten the mixture.  Take a taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.  Scoop the dressing into a bowl and speckle with parsley. 

Amped-Up Red Pepper Paste

2 Tablespoons sweet paprika
2 Tablespoons sweet smoked paprika
1/4 cup dry red wine
8 to 10 garlic cloves, to taste
2 Turkish bay leaves, well crumbled
1 Tablespoon double concentrate tomato-paste
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
7 sprigs fresh cilantro
5 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 tspfreshly ground white pepper
a few dashes of store bought hot sauce
1/4 cup olive oil

1. Dump both types of paprika, the wine, garlic, bay leaves, tomato paste, lemon juice, cilantro, parsley, salt, pepper and hot sauce into a food processor or mini chop and pulse until the garlic and herbs are minced.  Scrape down any chunky bits from the sides of the bowl.

2. While the motor is running, pour in the olive oil and continue whirring until the paste is slick and homogeneous, 1 to 2 minutes.  Use the mixture immediately or spoon it into a small glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate.  The paste will keep for up to a month in the refrigerator.