Pot Roast Terceira Island-Style (Alcatra)

Vicki Butts (lazyme)


Terceira, the one Azorean island linked directly to the United States by air, lies just four hours (and about a hundred years) east of Boston.

This pot roast, for example, might be made with beef. Then again, it might be made with mutton or lamb or even pork. It's name -- alcatra -- comes from alcatre, the Portuguese word for rump, the preferred cut of meat to pot-roast.

From The Food of Portugal by Jean Anderson.

pinch tips: How to Tie a Roast





15 Min


2 Hr 30 Min




1/4 lb
lean slab bacon, cut into small dice
2 Tbsp
vegetable oil
4 lb
boned and rolled beef rump roast, or leg of mutton, or fresh ham
2 large
yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
3 large
garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 large
bay leaves, do not crumble
whole cloves
3 Tbsp
tomato paste
4 c
dry white wine
1/2 tsp

Directions Step-By-Step

Preheat the oven to hot (400F). Saute the bacon in the vegetable oil in a large heavy kettle over moderately low heat 5 to 6 minutes until all drippings cook out and only crisp brown bits remain; lift to paper toweling to drain with a slotted spoon. In the drippings, brown the beef well on all sides over moderately high heat. Lift the beef from the kettle for the time being. Dump the onions, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, and cloves into the kettle and saute, stirring often over moderate heat, 8 to 10 minutes until touched with brown.
Blend in the tomato paste, turn the heat down low, cover, and steam 20 minutes. Scoop half the tomato mixture into a small heat-proof bowl, return the beef and bacon to the kettle, then spoon the tomato mixture on top. Add the wine and salt and bring to a simmer.
Cover and bake 2 hours; uncover, and turn the beef over in the kettle liquid. Lower the oven temperature to moderately slow (325F), and bake uncovered about 1 hour longer or until tender and browned on top.

Note: If at any point the kettle should threaten to boil dry, add a little water or additional dry white wine.
Slice the meat thin and serve with boiled or roasted potatoes and a green vegetable, As for wine, the islanders would drink a rough tinto (red wine), so any substantial table red would be appropriate, particularly Portuguese Dao Grao Vasco or Colares.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Beef
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: Portugese