Here’s a popular recipe from Cape Verde called “Cachupa,” which is a traditional slow-cooked stew. It’s considered the national dish of Cape Verde and is typically made with corn, beans, and various meats.
- 1 cup dried hominy corn
- 1 cup dried red kidney beans
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 sweet potato, diced
- 1 chorizo sausage, sliced
- 1 smoked ham hock or ham bone
- 1/2 lb beef or pork, cubed
- 1/2 lb fish (such as tuna or cod), cut into chunks (optional)
- 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil for cooking
- In separate bowls, soak the dried hominy corn and red kidney beans in water overnight. Drain and rinse before using.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and sauté until they become translucent.
- Add the tomatoes, bell pepper, carrots, sweet potato, chorizo sausage, ham hock or bone, beef or pork, fish (if using), and shrimp (if using). Sauté for a few minutes until the meats are browned.
- Add the soaked hominy corn and kidney beans to the pot. Stir everything together.
- Add enough water to cover all the ingredients in the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.
- Add the bay leaves, paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir well and cover the pot.
- Allow the cachupa to simmer on low heat for about 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally and adding more water if needed, until the corn and beans are tender and the flavors have melded together.
- Once the cachupa is cooked and the meats are tender, remove the ham hock or bone and shred the meat. Return the shredded meat to the pot and stir it in.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Serve the cachupa hot as a hearty stew, with crusty bread on the side.
Cachupa is often enjoyed as a meal on its own, but you can also serve it with a side of rice or alongside grilled fish or meat. It’s a delicious and comforting dish that showcases the flavors of Cape Verde. Enjoy!