Feijoada

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Feijoada is Brazil’s national dish. This is a hearty and very filling meal, dating back centuries, constituting of a delicious black bean stew with big chunks of meat.

Yield: 5 servings

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb. black beans
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 lb. smoked sausage
  • 1 lb. carne seca
  • 1 lb. beef
  • 4 pork shoulder bones
  • 2 large onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Spice packet
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Very hot pepper sauce (pimenta malageta) to taste

Directions

  1. Wash beans well and let them soak in 1 liter of water overnight. After the soaking, add the beef stock to the water and cook the beans and water on low heat for about an hour.
  2. While the beans are cooking, cut the meats into bite-sized chunks, put them all in a pan with the pork shoulder bones, cover them with water, and boil them for about ten minutes.
  3. Chop the onions and the garlic finely and mix in random herbs and spices (a spice mix for salads would work well here). Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onion mixture until it caramelizes. Add a ladle full of beans, which at this point, should be soft, and mash it together with the fried onion mixture. Add the bay leaves to this mush and let it all fry for a few minutes. Pour everything back into the beans.
  4. Add the strained meats to the beans and add a cup of water. Stir. Add salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce to taste.

Tips/Techniques

Note: While the beans are cooking, stir them occasionally because if they burn on the bottom, the whole dish will be contaminated. Also, do not add salt to the beans until the meats have cooked with them for awhile, because the meats will release their own salt into the water. The Feijoada will be ready when the liquid is thick and flavorful. Serving Suggestions: Serves five people rice. Can and should be served with peeled oranges and sauteed, salted, and shredded collard greens. Beverage Suggestions: Brazil’s traditional Caipirinha
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