Michael Twitty’s take on Cape Verde’s iconic, hearty stew honors the island nation’s Jewish roots.
The collection of islands off the coast of West Africa known as Cape Verde was colonized by the Portuguese from the Age of Exploration well into the 20th Century, from 1462 until the islands gained their independence in 1975. Today’s Cape Verdean diaspora is rediscovering its Jewish roots. Worked by forced labor from West Africa, the Cape Verdean people are a mixture of Africa, Iberia, and all the worlds in between, including Jews who sought refuge from the Inquisition. When adapted to feature kosher cuts of meat, cachopa, one of the island nation’s signature dishes, makes an excellent Shabbat stew or replacement for cholent. (This recipe from writer Michael Twitty also works well as a slow cooker supper for Shabbat afternoon.) Many kosher butchers and farmers markets offer “bacon” made from beef brisket or lamb. For the kosher sausage, use an all-beef version, chicken sausage, or a mix.
Adapted from KOSHERSOUL by Michael Twitty. Reprinted with permission of the publisher, AMISTAD, an imprint of HarperCollins. Copyright © 2022 by Michael Twitty.
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
- 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped (1½ cups)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 6–8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- One 15-oz. can white hominy, drained
- One 14.5-oz. can light kidney beans, drained
- ½ cup frozen lima beans
- 1 lb. kosher sausage, sliced ½-in. thick
- ¼ lb. kosher beef or lamb bacon, cut into small cubes
- 2 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage or kale
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1–in. cubes (2 cups)
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-in. cubes (2 cups)
- 1 medium plantain, peeled and thinly sliced into ½-in. thick rounds (1 cup)
- ½ medium butternut squash (or other winter squash), peeled and cut into 1-in. cubes (1 cup)
- ¼ cup green beans, sliced lengthwise
- One 5½-lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium plum tomatoes, quartered
- ½ cup store-bought sofrito
- Coarsely chopped cilantro, for garnish