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Alcatra a Moda da Terceira – Meat Stew

Alcatra a Moda da Terceira – Meat Stew

by Maria Pacheco

Alcatra a moda da Terceira is a traditional dish from the island of Terceira in the Azores, Portugal. The recipe has its roots in the rural cooking of the island, where beef and other meats were often slow-cooked with local ingredients and seasonings. The dish is named after the large clay pot or “alcatra” that was traditionally used to cook it.

There are a few different versions of the dish, depending on the family or region. Some recipes use red wine and tomato sauce, while others use white wine and no tomato. Some include other vegetables, such as carrots and peppers. However, the basic components of the dish – beef, potatoes, onions, and a slow-cooked, flavorful sauce – remain the same.

Today, Alcatra a moda da Terceira is a beloved dish in the Azores and is often served at celebrations and family gatherings. It has also gained popularity in other parts of Portugal and around the world, as people seek out traditional and regional dishes.

The Recipe


  • 2.5 lb beef chuck roast
  • 1 lb potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Cut the beef into 1-inch cubes and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Peel and slice the potatoes into thin rounds, and slice the onions into thin strips.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the wine, tomato sauce, minced garlic, and bay leaves.
  5. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the beef in batches until it is well-browned on all sides. Remove the beef and set it aside.
  6. In the same Dutch oven, add a layer of potatoes on the bottom, followed by a layer of onions. Repeat with the remaining potatoes and onions.
  7. Pour the wine and tomato sauce mixture over the potatoes and onions.
  8. Place the beef cubes on top of the potato and onion layers.
  9. Cover the Dutch oven with a lid and bake in the preheated oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the beef is tender.
  10. Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Alcatra a moda da Terceira is typically served with bread or rice and a green salad. Enjoy!

Where to eat if you are in Terceira island

Quinta do Martelo cooks a mean Alcatra. Stop by and bom proveito!

Joe Portugal - Chef