Feijoada (fay-JWA-da) is a bubbling stew of beans, pork parts, and sausages. Feijoada a Brasileira is considered the national dish of Brazil.
Assessing the rice, crumbled cornbread with bacon, collard greens, slippery okra, and long-cooking stews of pig parts in this dish, you could easily think you were in the American South eating soul food. The Brazilian Northeast shares a similar history to the American Southeast. The slave trade left each with large populations of native Africans kidnapped to perform back-breaking work in the fields. The images of sugar and coffee plantation owners occasionally giving the the least desirable parts of the pig – snouts, feet, ears, and tails – are real. Feijoada is a perfect example of the resourcefulness of people taking what’s available and creating something special. Cooked long-and-slow while they worked in the fields, Feijoada is the very essence of soul food. What’s clear is that the great dishes of the world come from the human imperative to create something special – food, dance, music, literature – from very little.
Feijoada a Brasileira-Brazilian Black Bean Stew
- Large heavy-bottomed pot
- 2 lb Dried black beans, soaked overnight
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 2 Dried red chilis
- 1 Fresh serrano or jalapeno chili, cut in half longwise
- 3 Bay leaves
- 1 lb Corned beef, 1 piece
- 1 lb Smoked Pork chops
- 1 lb 2-inch cubes of boneless pork shoulder or beef stew meat
- 1 lb Portuguese fresh sausage, like linguica. (spicy Italian sausage ok)
- 1 lb Chorizo sausage (kielbasa ok) in 1 piece
- 8 oz Salt pork, rinsed then soaked separately overnight with beans
- 8 Garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 large Onion, chopped
- 2 Oranges, peeled and sectioned
- 4 qt Water (enough to cover everything by ½-inch
- Cook Feijoada – Drain and rinse soaked black beans. Heat vegetable oil in a large heavy casserole or pot over moderately low heat. Add onions and garlic until onion is softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in black beans, bay leaves, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to low and simmer beans for 1 hour. Add the chilis and meats. Cook until beans are tender and meats cooked through, another hour or more..
- Serve Feijoada – Remove meats, chilis, and bay leaves from pot. Salt beans. Shred meat from ham hock and discard any bones, chilis, and bay leaves. Thickly slice remaining meats and pace in the middle of a platter. Surround meat with piles of orange sections, white rice, collard greens, and farofa. Scoop beans into individual wide bowls serve along with platter and hot sauce.