Bowl of Feijoada
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Black Bean Stew with Meats
Brazil
  -   Feijoada
Makes
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
12 cups  
****
12 hrs  
Yes
One of the most famous dishes of Brazil, this stew is cooked in vast quantities on Saturdays, particularly in Rio de Janeiro. Amounts given here can be considered to be for a "half recipe", making a mere 12 cups (3 quarts). This recipe requires making decisions, so read all the notes. It is a little involved, but not difficult, and definitely worth the bother.




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Beans, black (1)  
Salt
-- Meats
Linguiça (2)
Bacon, slab (3)
Meats (4)
-- Aromatics
Garlic
Onion
Celery
Leeks
Shallots
Scallions
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Oil
Olive Oil ExtV
Bay Leaves
Salt
Pepper, black
Vinegar (5)
-- Serve with
Orange Slices
White Rice
Farofa
Collards
-- Garnish
Cheiro Verde
Do-Ahead   -   (8 hrs - 5 min work)
  1. Soak BEANS overnight or at least 6 hours with 1/2 T Salt and Water to cover. Drain and rinse.
  2. IF using CARNE SECA, similarly soak it overnight in several changes of water.
Prep   -   (40 min)
  1. Slice LINGUIÇA about 1/2 inches thick. If using a sausage larger than 1-1/2 inch diameter, first slice it in half lengthwise.
  2. Cut BACON into dice about 1/4 inch.
  3. Remove excess fat from MEATS. Cut them into largish bite size pieces. If using bony meats like Ox Tails, Pig Feet, Ham Hocks and Pig Tails, they have to go in as large pieces, but you will remove the meat and discard the bones when the stew is nearly done.
  4. Crush GARLIC and chop fine.
  5. Chop remaining AROMATICS small. Mix.
Fry Meats   -   (30 min)
  1. In a skillet, heat 1 T Oil and fry Linguiça until moderately browned all over. Remove from the pan. Similarly fry each of the Meat items, adding more Oil if needed.
Run   -   (3-1/4 hrs)
  1. In a Dutch Oven or heavy bottomed pot (4 or 5 quart), heat 1 T Olive Oil and fry Bacon stirring over moderate heat until getting crispy.
  2. Stir in Aromatics mix and Bay Leaves. Fry stirring until Onions are threatening to color.
  3. Stir in Garlic until it is well incorporated.
  4. Stir in Beans and all Meat items. Pour in Water to cover it all (about 6 cups for bony meats, 5 for boneless). Bring to a boil, then cover and hold at a low simmer for about 2-3/4 hours, stirring a couple of times. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface and maintain the Water so everything is just covered.
  5. When Beans are tender, but not mushy, (about 2-3/4 hours) fish out meats with bones. Strip the meat and return it to the pot. In the case of Ham Hocks, return the meat but not the rind and fat.
  6. Season with Salt and Pepper. Return to a simmer for 15 minutes or so. If you want it thicker, you can crush some of the beans against the side of the pot.
  7. Serve hot with Orange Slices (on the side or as Garnish). Accompany with steamed Rice, Collard Greens and Farofa. See Service for details.
NOTES:
  1. Beans:   Small black beans are usually used, even in regions that don't usually use black beans, except in Bahia and Goiás red or brown beans are sometimes used. This dish is best made from dried beans soaked overnight with salt, but if you don't have the time you can use a "quick brine" (for details see our Soaking / Brining Dried Beans page. Use fresh dried beans as old ones will never become tender.
  2. Linguiça:   Most recipes in English call for Choriço, but Portuguese and Spanish Choriços available in North America are rather dry, and Linguiça is more appropriate for a stew. Brazil has a couple sausages called "Linguiça, but Linguiça Calabresa is not the one to use. If you can't find the other one, use Portuguese Linguiça, pretty much the same thing. Whatever you do, do not try to use Mexican Chorzo, as some recipes suggest. It is totally different from anything used in Brazil. A quality Polish Kielbasa would be a much better choice. For details see our Sausages page.
  3. Bacon:   A few recipes call for Pancetta, but I favor a good smoked slab bacon as we need more smoky flavor in this recipe.
  4. Meats:   1 pound weight is for all boneless meats - if using bony meats you may need up to 2 pounds. Brazilian recipes call for many salted meats, but in Brazil (and Europe) pig feet, ears, tongues, snouts and tails are salted, and salt dried Carne Seca is easily available. In North America, all those pig parts are sold fresh, and salt dried beef is not common, so we must use mostly fresh meats. In Brazil, a smoky flavor is often preferred, so a small smoked ham hock would a good item to include. Typical meats are: Markets serving Philippine, East European or Hispanic communities are where to look for most of this stuff. The photo example was made with Ox Tails, Pig Tails, Smoked Pork Loin, Pork Tongue and Portuguese Linguiça.
  5. Vinegar:   This is optional, but it does lighten the flavor of bean dishes. I use Sherry Vinegar, but others will work fine as well, though I'm not fond of cider vinegar in recipes.
  6. Slow Cooker:   I do not cook in a slow cooker, I am too impatient and too much of a control freak. On the other hand, I do, with recipes of this sort, sometimes use a slow cooker after bringing the whole recipe to a full boil on the stovetop. I then dump it into a slow cooker set to High, and when it starts to bubble I turn it down to Low. It will still take a bit longer, but the results will be good. For "slow cooker all the way" I have seen comments that beans were not tender enough after 6 hours, so figure 8 to 10 hours.
  7. Service:   The way this stew is served in Brazil is quite standardized. It is usually served at leisurely events, particularly on Saturdays. The accompaniments and garnishes are very standardized as well.
  8. History:   Many writers presume this originated as a slave dish, based on beans and pork "scraps" (ears, feet, tails, tongues, etc.), but historians disagree. Those "scraps" (to Americans) were held in high regard by Euorpeans of that time, and in many regions to this day. This stew is closely related to similar stews in Portugal and other parts of Europe, thought to be based on stews made by the Roman Legions. The first written recipes from Brazil are from the mid 19th century and were directed to the upper classes. Slaves ate their beans with manioc flour.
  9. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste

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