Phil and I are very keen travellers and very keen foodies, so when Expedia got in touch about their festive #ExpediaWorldOnAPlate challenge and asked me to create a festive dish or two based on cuisine from Portugal, I was more than happy to oblige!

Expedia kindly sent us a hamper full of amazing treats and I set about creating some Portuguese dishes, inspired by my holidays to the country with Phil, friends and my family over the years. I really enjoyed creating a meal inspired by Christmas in Portugal and am excited to be sharing it with you!
Fresh fish is in absolute abundance in Portugal, however sadly I don’t eat fish or sea food so I miss out on what are sure to be delicious dishes. I do, however, absolutely love meat and veg and on my travels around the country I have eaten many varieties of Portuguese beef recipes, from steaks to stews. With it being winter, I thought a pot roast inspired by the flavours I’ve had in Portugal would be perfect, followed by a traditional Christmas dessert called Soupa Dourada, which is similar to one I indulged in when I spent a Christmas over in Brazil.

Alcatra – A Festive Portuguese Pot Roast

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1.5kg rump roast joint
  • 225g bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 16 peppercorns
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 475ml red wine
  • 475ml water

Method

  1. Fry bacon in a frying pan until just crisp, over medium-high heat. Remove to a papertowel lined plate and add the onion, bay leaves, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, garlic and tomato paste to the remaining juices in the pan. Cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Put the onion mixture into the slow cooker.
  2. In a small bowl mix the salt and pepper and spread over the rump roast evenly. Sear the roast on each side in the hot frying pan then place the roast on top of the onion mixture in the slow cooker.
  3. Turn the heat up to high and add the wine and water and scrape up all of the browned bits on the bottom of the frying pan. Allow the wine mixture to boil for 5 minutes. Pour over the roast and top with the bacon. Cover and set the slow cooker for 8 hours. At the 4 hour mark, flip the roast over, cover and continue to cook.
  4. Serve with your choice of potatoes, rice, bread or veg and enjoy!

Sopa Dourada

Ingredients (Serves 2-3)

3 slices of plain sponge (I made mine because I forgot to cheat and buy any, ooops!)

170g suger

60ml water

3 egg yolks

Cinnamon powder

Method

  1. Mix the sugar with the water and bring to the boil to make a thick syrup then remove from the heat.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, dip each slice of cake into the syrup, then place them on a serving dish.
  3. Beat the egg yolks and mix them with the remaining syrup.
  4. Bring to heat for one moment and stir to thicken. Be careful not to allow the yolks to curdle.
  5. Pour this sauce over the slices, sprinkle with cinnamon and serve when the pudding is cold.

The smell of cinnamon and cloves wafting through the house from my slow cooker was irresistible as the beef cooked, I only wish we’d have been hosting a dinner party to share the joy! I was nervous about making any sort of sauce because I normally stick exclusively to baked puddings, but I thought it would do me good to challenge myself and I enjoyed it! I made the puddings just before serving up the main course so that they could cool as we ate our roast.

Phil and I tucked into the tasty two courses before finishing off with some cheese and biscuits from the many gifts in the hamper. There are so many other treats in there which will see us through the festive period and everything is straight from a food lover’s dream!

I really enjoyed creating an #ExpediaWorldOnAPlate menu for Phil and I to enjoy. I’ve not been cooking from scratch too much lately and it’s really helped to reignite my enjoyment of cooking, just in time for Christmas!

Which country’s cuisine gets your mouth watering? Have you ever spent Christmas in another country? Let me know in the comments below or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

**This is a collaborative post with Expedia, all words and opinions are my own**

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