‘Finally, feijoada!’ as one of my cooking class students will no doubt say.
No one was more anxious to see it appear in one of my posts than he.
Let’s start by introducing this hearty dish briefly which has more than one version.
Brazilian Feijoada is a slow-cooked stew prepared with black beans and an assortment of pork or beef products, all nestled in a rich, dark-colored broth. Its taste is robustly flavorful and savory. It has been Brazil’s national dish for a few centuries. Yes, centuries. Remember? We love beans!!! Feijoada was born of the fusion of Portuguese traditions with African slaves’ superb cooking skills, while modified by their restricted availability of food sources. At that time, all parts of the hog were taken advantage of, including the ears, trotters, tails, etc. However, this dish, like many others, has evolved with the passage of time, and most modern recipes for it avoid the use of these humbler parts of the pig due to some people’s aversion to them.
Feijoada is a delectable yet heavy dish, commonly served at lunchtime (and then followed by a contented, refreshing nap!). Brazilians love to share feijoada with family and friends on the weekends, just as Americans do with barbecue.
I am pleased to say that both of my daughters (a four- and a five-year old) devoured theirs at dinner time. According to them, no side dishes were necessary to accompany it — not even rice. Ah, my eager little diners…. You cannot imagine how happy I was to watch you appreciating mommy’s love poured into food.
OK, my dear reader, I’ll let you go for now. I wish you a great weekend sharing Brazil’s beloved dish with your loved ones!
P.S: My hubby asked me to say that my feijoada was even better on the second day.
(Brazilian Black Bean Stew)
Serve 6 – 8
Segment: Brazilian cuisine
1 (16 ounce or 454 gr.) package dry black beans, soaked overnight and drained
6 – 7 cups water
3 smoked ham hocks
6 thick slices smoked bacon, medium diced (I used turkey “bacon” in mine to make the dish lighter and less fatty)
1 tablespoon olive oil, if necessary
10 ounces (about 282 gr.) smoked sausage, sliced (e.g. Andouille, smoked Kielbasa)
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 pound (about 700 gr) pork baby back ribs, cut
4 ounces (about 100 gr.) beef jerky
4 bay leaves
2 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander*
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar (improves taste and reduces gassy elements)*
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)
* These ingredients are not part of the traditional recipe. It was added by me to make the dish tastier.
Sort the beans, discarding any shriveled or broken ones. Wash them and soak beans in three times their volume of cold water overnight before cooking. Reserve.
In a medium pan, cover the ham hocks in water, bring to a boil, cover pan, reduce heat, and let simmer over low heat for approximately 2 to 3 hours.
Meanwhile, in a separate, large heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat, bring the beans with 6 cups of water to a boil. Cover the pan and reduce heat. Let simmer over medium-low heat for 60 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve, covered.
Cook the diced bacon in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat until lightly browned. Reserve. In the same skillet, brown the sliced sausage in the bacon fat (if you use turkey bacon, you’ll need to add 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet in order to brown the sausage). Reserve. Then, add the onions and sauté until translucent. Next, add the garlic and sauté both together a bit more (for about 30 to 60 seconds).
Mix the browned bacon and sausage, and also the sautéed onion and garlic into the cooked beans. Add the ham hocks, the ribs, the beef jerky, bay leaves, all the seasonings and spices, and the vinegar, to the beans. Add 1 cup of water more, if necessary. Cover and let simmer over medium-low heat for 60 to 70 minutes more. Stir and remove the bay leaves. Right before serving, sprinkle the chopped cilantro or parsley. Serve warm with white rice*, farofa, couve , sliced oranges or pineapple, breaded deep-fried bananas , and caipirinha, cachaça or beer (optional). Other common side dishes are boiled or deep-fried cassava and pork rinds (torresmo).
* In Brazil, it has become more and more common the use of parboiled rice which is available in American supermarkets. Our traditional rice is a white, long-grain one that turns loose (non-sticky) after cooked.
Receita em Português:
Serve 6 a 8 pessoas
500 gramas de feijão preto (deixe de molho na noite anterior)
6 – 7 xícaras de água
3 joelhos de porco
6 fatias de bacon, picado
1 colher de sopa de azeite de oliva, se necessário
150 gramas linguiça portuguesa
100 gramas de paio defumado
1/2 cebola média amarela, picada
4 dentes de alho, picado
700 gramas de costelinha de porco
100 gramas de carne seca, em pedaços
4 folhas de louro
2 colheres de sopa mais 1 de chá de sal
1/4 colher de chá de pimenta preta moída
1/4 colher de chá de cuminho
1/8 colher de chá de coentro ou coriandro em pó ou moído
1 colher de chá de vinagre de vinho tinto (para apurar o sabor e diminuir os gases do feijão)
1/4 xícara de coentro ou salsinha picada (opcional)
Modo de Preparo:
Descarte os feijões quebrados e qualquer outra impureza. Lave e deixe de molho durante a noite anterior. Antes de cozinhar o feijão, escorra e reserve.
Cubra os joelhos de porco com água, ferva, cubra a panela, reduza o fogo e deixe cozinhar em fogo baixo por aproximadamente 2 a 3 horas.
Por enquanto, numa panela grande e funda, sobre fogo médio-alto, ferva o feijão com 6 xícaras de água. Cubra a panela, reduza o fogo, e deixe cozinhar em fogo médio-baixo por 60 minutos.
Doure o bacon. Reserve. Depois, doure a linguiça na gordura do bacon e reserve. Se necessário, acrescente 1 colher de sopa de azeite para ajudar a dourar a linguiça. Adicione a cebola e refogue até translúcida. Acrescente o alho e refogue por 30 a 60 segundos.
Misture o bacon, a linguiça, as verduras refogadas, o paio, a costelinha de porco, a carne seca, os joelhos de porco, o louro, todos os temperos secos, e o vinagre ao feijão cozido. Adicione 1 xícara a mais de água, se necessário. Cubra a panela e deixe cozinhar em fogo médio-baixo por 60 a 70 minutos. Mexa. Antes de servir, retire as folhas de louro e adicione o coentro ou salsinha picada. Sirva morna com arroz branco, farofa, couve, fatias de laranja ou abacaxi, banana empanada e caipirinha, cachaça ou cerveja (opcional). Também pode ser acompanhada por macaxeira/aipim frita ou cozida e torresmo.