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Portuguese stew with lamb meatballs, pork shoulder and garbanzo beans

The best meals are the ones that touch your soul, that evoke memories of your past and your family. The meals that make you feel alive and excited and that transport you to far away places. They are hearty, full of flavor and easy ingredients. They are meals like this cozido de grão, a chunky stew made with an assortment of meat and fresh veggies.

This traditional Portuguese stew tastes like something my great grandma used to make me when I was sick in bed. She’d load a stew up with tons of vegetables, hearty cuts of meat and homemade dumplings. No matter what I was sick with, every bite made me feel better.

Cozido de Grão

Originally hailing from the Alentejo and Algarve regions of Portugal, chickpea stew has been a staple in so many Portuguese homes for decades. Don’t you think it’s time you made this a staple in your house, too?

Cozido de grão recipe

Inspired by Saveur Magazine

Serves about 6


For the meatballs

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg

For the stew

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 ounces pork shoulder, sliced
  • 6 ounces spicy sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 organic carrots, chopped
  • About 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1-1/2 pounds red potatoes, quartered
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped Brussels sprouts
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper


  1. To make the meatballs, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an oven-safe baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Mix the lamb, bread crumbs, cream, Worcestershire sauce, onion, salt, pepper and egg. Mix with your hands until the mixture comes together. Form the meat into 14 medium size meatballs and place in the greased dish.
  3. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until browned on the outside. Remove from heat.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large Dutch oven. Liberally sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper. Add the sausage and crumble with your spatula. Cook until browned. Remove from heat. Add the pork and cook, in batches, until the meat is brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add to the bowl with the sausage.
  5. In the same Dutch oven, add the garlic, onion, carrots, butternut squash, potatoes and brussels sprouts.
  6. Add in the broth, chickpeas, paprika, bay leaves, chili powder and salt and pepper. Return meat to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to medium low and cook until meat and vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Add in the meatballs and cook another 10 minutes.
  7. Remove bay leaves and serve stew with crusty bread.

More fall stew recipes

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Bratwurst and chicken stew
Beef bourguignon recipe

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