February 19, 2015



Slow cooked pork butt marinated in a dry rub and cooked in a white wine/orange juice until fork tender. This simple Portuguese sandwich is one of my favorites.

To top off this delicious sandwich on a sweet note, try Queijadas, a Portuguese custard cupcake.

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Hi everyone! What I am sharing with you today is one of my top ten favorite foods. Cacoila was my introduction to Portuguese cuisine. I was addicted to this delectable amalgamation of slow-roasted pork and spices the very first time I had it. It reminds me of the pork sandwiches I had as a child in Vietnam. 

This sandwich is very simple—pork and bread, but the flavor is so incredible! If you try this, you will understand why this savory, aromatic, salty, tender, juicy, slow-cooked pork ranks as one of my personal favorite dishes.   

My recipe is an adaptation of one I found by Richard Methia. I have made it a couple of times before, making adjustments along the way. As with any other slow-cooked meat, the optimal cut to use for cacoila is one with a lot of marbling and fat. I use boneless pork butt as Richard recommended. One notable deviation from his recipe is the marinating process. I marinaded the pork in a dry rub overnight—the original recipe did not. Another adaption I made was lowering the oven temperature to 250° F instead of the recommended 325° F. I find that I get tender and more consistent result cooking meat at the lower temperature.


In the past, the only time I was able to enjoy these sandwiches was when I visited my favorite Portuguese take out restaurant 90 miles away.  I would only have it a couple times a year. Now that I have very closely replicated the recipe, I will be able enjoy cacoila whenever I want! 

Recipe Highlights:
  • Trim some excess fat off pork. Cut pork into 1-inch chunks.
  • Combine dry rub ingredients.
  • Sprinkle onto pork chunks.
  • Place into a large zip lock bag. Massage to work rub into pork.
  • Refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 250° F.

  • Combine wine, orange juice, red wine vinegar, and salt in a bowl.
  • Place pork into a dutch oven. 
  • Add the liquid mixture and a bay leaf.
  • Bake for 3 1/2 hours or until fork tender.
  • Remove pork and shred using two forks. 
  • Skim fat off the dripping/marinade. Return pork back to the dutch oven.
  • Serve on sub rolls or bulky rolls.
  • See recipe card for more details.

UPDATE: When this post was originally published, I provided a link to Richard Methia's site. Unfortunately, the link no longer exists and I have since removed it. But I want to thank Richard for providing the inspiration for this recipe.

Looking for more Portuguese recipe ideas? Put these on your must try list.




3 lbs. boneless pork butt
1 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. salt, divided
1 1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp. thyme or oregano (either one works well)
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 cup white wine (I use Casal Garcia Vinho Verde)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
6 bulky rolls or buns


Trim some excess fat off pork. Don't take too much off—it is needed for flavoring. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Combine all of the dry spices (use only 1 1/2 tsp. salt) for the rub. Sprinkle on pork, place in a zip lock bag, and seal. Massage dry rub into pork. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Combine wine, orange juice, red wine vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Place pork into a dutch oven. Pour liquid into dutch oven. Tuck in a bay leaf. Cover and bake for about 3.5 hours  or until fork tender.

Remove pork from oven. Shred using two forks. Skim the layer of fat off the pork dripping/marinade. Return pork back to the dutch oven. Serve sub rolls or bulky rolls. Makes 6 sandwiches.

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  1. I haven't had much Portuguese food but I love pork and this pulled pork sandwich looks amazing! Thanks for the visit!!

    1. I have not had tons of Portuguese food, but I have had have been so good. I hope you will get an opportunity to try some out. Thank you for stopping by too!

    2. It is very delicious I never made it and only way ive had it is at a protuguese festival every year. Now that I have the recipe I will attempt to make it and see if it taste the same. It is pulled pork but the spicy flavor is unbelieveable. I highly recommend u trying it if u like pulled pork

  2. This looks fantastic! I love the red wine version of the Portuguese marinated pork so can't wait to try yours. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. I hope you'll try it! I have made a red wine version once using a cacoila seasoning pack I bought, and it was very good. This white wine version, in conjunction with the spices, has flavors that I am more familiar with. But I love cacoila and will take it any way can get it! Thank you for visiting, Karrie!

    2. I am so happy that you Shared this. I only have eaten this sandwich at the portuguese festival and i love it so much. I always wanted the recipe and ive never asked any of my protuguese friends. I am greatful that you shared this I can not wait to give it a try. Only question is you said u used a dry rub, what kind of dry rub ???

  3. I love pulled pork and will have to give this a try soon! Thanks for linking up with What's Cookin' Wednesday!

  4. This looks so good, I like all the flavours in it. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!!

    1. Thanks Laura. I really love the combination of spices in this recipe.

  5. Do you think this would work in a crock pot? The flavors look amazing!

    1. I thought about making this recipe in a crock pot but have not done it yet. I think it would work out wonderfully in a slow cooker, set on low for about 8 hours or so. If you try it out, I'd love to hear about it!

  6. I am doing this recipe in a crock pot, wish me luck

    1. Good luck!! I thought about making in the crock pot too but have not tried it out. I'd love to hear how it turns out for you! :)

  7. I'm Using This Exact Recipe Tonight, But I'm Putting It In The Crock Pot Instead I Love When Meat Is Slow Cooked