Cozido Das Furnas is an Azorean meal made by harnessing the raw molten fury of Mother Earth and using her as your own personal pressure cooker. The town of Furnas is at the edge of a crater lake on the beautiful island of Sao Miguel, the natural hot springs release steam through vents in the ground, and if you choose the right place to dig, Mother Nature will season and cook your food for you while you wait.
(The basics of Cozido das Furnas are usually the same, but the recipes might vary. A variation, and I believe the most common, of this recipe does not include rice and you do not have to add any water to it. Try to check other recipes and wish you a nice Cozido!!)
Step One: Collect Your Ingredients
You will need: a head of cabbage, cubed beef, cubed chicken, cubed pork, chorizo, chopped potatoes, sliced carrots, rice, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. You will also need a large metal pot and a length of rope.
Step Two: Fly to Sao Miguel, Rent a Car, and Drive to Furnas
Make sure you leave early to allow yourself enough time. Cooking Cozido is an all day commitment.
Step Three: Put it all together
Line your pot with cabbage leaves, then layer your ingredients as follows: beef, chicken, pork, chorizo, chopped potatoes and carrots, rice and seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder and some oregano on top). Add one cup of water for each cup of rice. The amounts of your ingredients will be determined by the size of your pot and the size of your party. Tie the lid on your pot, leaving a long length of rope (about three feet) that can be used to lift the pot, without causing it to tip over.
Step Four: Bury It
Find the nice gentleman with the shovel, and watch as he buries your food in the ground. Picture taking is highly recommended.
Step Five: Relax
You now have five to seven hours ahead of you. You can hike around the lake, swim in the lake, or canoe on the lake. Or you can head into town and explore the beautiful streets of Furnas.
Step Six: Dig It Up
After the appropriate amount of time, find the man with the shovel (don't forget to tip him, a few Euros should suffice) and watch as he unearths your now perfectly cooked meal from the bowels of the earth. Take more pictures.
Step Seven: Enjoy!
Eat your delicious meal at one of the many picnic tables surrounding the lake and congratulate yourself on a job well done!
- To get the true Cozido Das Furnas experience, you need to allow your meal to cook in the Caldeiras, but you can also make the recipe in a crock pot. It's not the same, but it's still delicious! Cook on Low for 6-8 hours, or on High for 4-6.
- I used a tightly closed metal pot (Waterless Cooker) in the oven set at 250F for five or six hours.
- Since you've already flown halfway around the world, spend some time exploring the rest of the island!
- Be careful! The Caldeiras are essentially holes in the ground that are full of boiling water. The larger ones are fenced off, but the smaller ones are not. Watch your step!