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Rancho com Grão e Couve Moderno ❦ Stewed Meat with Chickpeas, Cabbage and Elbow Macaroni

Having spent my birthday weekend in Lisbon, I came home nostalgic to some of my countries forgotten recipes. Today's recipe is not a particularly southern dish, but arriving in London to this cold, wet and utterly dreary weather, I was reminded of my winter's in Porto. You will see Rancho on menus all over the north of Portugal year round. The definition of rancho in Portuguese is; food for a large quantity or group of people.

Truly fitting as this is a crowd pleasing dish. Classic recipes like this one might very well get forgotten with the passing of generations, food trends and to be honest, the fact that modern life has made long braising and elaborate dishes unpractical. These recipes were meant to be filling and hearty and to tenderise cheaper cuts of meat. Today's generation might shy away from such an elaborate or heavy recipe, yet long to taste that chilhood favourite, like I have. Traditional Rancho calls for pigs' ears and trotters, but I do not care for those cuts. They also can be a bit harder to source nowadays in the grocery store. My recipe, which I have re-named Rancho Moderno, meaning modern, will have all the integrity of the original, and be made much faster, using leaner cuts of meat, without jeopardising any flavour. I used chicken, pork, beef and some traditional Portuguese smoked sausages, including presunto. It's simply Proscuitto in Portuguese. Available in any good Portuguese grocer or online. Feel free to substitute for Italian or Spanish varieties of presunto or chouriço if you can't find it. Make sure to have some warm crusty bread to mop up the sauce. This recipe serves 8-10 people, but if you need to feed less, feel free to halve the recipe. It makes great leftovers for lunch the next day.

Enjoy xoxoxoxo

Rancho com Grão e Couve Moderno ❦ Stewed Meat with Chickpeas, Cabbage and Elbow Macaroni

Serves 8-10

1 hour Start to finish

* I make this in 2 pots instead of 1, as I feel a one pot method dilutes the sauce