Main Dishes

Portuguese Pot Roast (Carne Assada)

This dish from food writer David Leite’s mother is a traditional Azorean braised beef dish made with meltingly tender meat, small red potatoes, chouriço, and onions.

By Yankee Magazine

Aug 25 2022

Photo Credit : Adam DeTour; styling by Catrine Kelty

This dish from food writer David Leite’s mother — “Momma Leite” — is a traditional Azorean braised beef dish made with meltingly tender meat, small red potatoes, chouriço, and onions.

From “At Home at the Table,” September/October 2022.


8 to 10 servings


8 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled

1 bottle (26 ounces) dry red wine

3 tablespoons double-concentrate tomato paste (or substitute 4 1/2 tablespoons store-bought tomato paste)

1 teaspoon chopped oregano leaves

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes or more to taste

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

1 (4-pound) boneless chuck roast, top-blade roast, or bottom-chuck roast, tied

Freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed

2 large yellow onions coarsely chopped

1 cup water

1 1/2 pounds Portuguese chouriço, linguiça, or dry-cured smoked Spanish chorizo, cut into several pieces

1 1/2 pounds golf ball–size red potatoes, peeled

1/2 pound baby carrots

Chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnish


In a large bowl, combine the garlic, wine, tomato paste, oregano, bay leaves, both types of paprika, the pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the beef, turn to coat, cover, and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or, preferably, overnight, turning the beef several times.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325 °F. Remove the bowl from the fridge and transfer the beef and garlic cloves to a plate, reserving the marinade. Pat the beef dry with paper towels and season well with salt and pepper.

In an ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the oil. When hot, sear the beef all over until nicely browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Do not wipe out the Dutch oven.

Reduce the heat to medium. If the pot is dry, drizzle in a little more oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes more.

Pour the reserved marinade and water into the pot and bring to a boil. Nestle in the beef, cover tightly, and put it into the oven to braise, turning the meat and basting it every 20 minutes or so, until almost falling-apart tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Add the chouriço, potatoes, and carrots to the Dutch oven and continue to braise the meat, covered, for 30 minutes more.

Transfer the beef to a bowl, ladle some of the cooking liquid over the meat, and cover with foil to keep warm. Bump up the oven temperature to 400 °F. Slide the pot back into the oven, and roast the vegetables and sausage in the remaining cooking liquid, uncovered, until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife, 15 to 30 minutes more.

Transfer the vegetables and sausage to the bowl with the meat and skim any fat from the sauce in the pot. If the sauce seems too liquidy to form a sauce, place it over medium heat and simmer it until it’s reduced to the desired consistency. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

To serve, slice the chouriço on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces. Center the beef on a platter, remove the string, and arrange the sausage and vegetables around the roast. Ladle a bit of the sauce on top, sprinkle with parsley, and offer the rest of the sauce on the side.