Feijoada is a very old dish originally from Portugal, and it varied in all of its former colonies, including Brazil. This very special treat is a stew of black beans with beef and pork, served with rice, sauteed collard greens, malagueta chili pepper, orange slices and farofa. For those who are not familiarized with the Brazilian culinary, we’ll explain what all the side dishes are, and how to make them. For the stew, Brazilians use feet, ears, tails and other pork parts – there’s a traditional reason for it: Well, that’s the basic food slaves had access to when they developed this dish a couple of centuries ago. And also very interestingly, the wealthy slave owners didn’t eat the dish because it was considered a low standard meal; only much later on everyone agreed feijoada had become a national sensation in that country, one of the most traditional dishes in Brazilian cuisine. In 1976, the New York Times published a recipe with all the parts of the pig and beef one should use to make the perfect feijoada, however it’s too hard to find those parts nowadays, so a revision was done later on. Here in New York we tried the latter, with some changes of our own, and it came out absolutely delicious. These dishes altogether may take up to 6 hours to prepare and cook, and the result is an unforgettable feast your friends and family will thank you immensely for serving. Be prepared for a feast of a lifetime. By the way, the first time we tried to publish this recipe was in 2012, so after that there have been many revisions, therefore we combined three recipes which The Times has published since 1955, and this one just came out in 2017. In our opinion as experienced cooks, without carne seca (not to be confused with Mexican beef jerky) and linguiça (a Portuguese smoked pork sausage), a feijoada can’t reach the appropriate level of wonderful flavors.
(Note: if you don’t have so many guests, don’t worry–feijoada freezes well for several months without losing its delicious flavor.)
black turtle beans, 2 lbs, dry and unsoaked
pig’s feet, 1 1/2 lbs, unsmoked, cut into 2-inch pieces
pig’s tail, 1/2 lbs, unmoked, cut into 2-inch pieces
pork tongue, 1/2 lbs, skin-on, cut into 2-inch pieces
slab bacon, 1/2 lbs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
bay leaves, 4, dry
linguiça or any smoked pork sausage, 4 (or about 1 lbs), cut into 1/2-inch slices
vegetable oil, 3 tbsp
onion, 1, large, diced
garlic cloves, 10, minced or chopped finely
carne seca (not jerked beef), 1/2 lbs, cut into 2-inch cubes (Note that we don’t list salt in the list of ingredients due to carne seca.)
water, 10+ cups
HOW TO MAKE IT:
Place rinsed beans, unsmoked meats (feet, tails, tongue), bacon, bay leaves and water in a heavy pot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir occasionally, and skim foam that comes up. Cook in a gentle simmer for 45 minutes. Add another 2 cups water, cover and cook for 2 hours.
Add sausage and carne seca, and simmer for another 40 minutes. Take one cup of beans from the mixture (avoid meats) and break them well, using a fork, a cuisine art, or a blender, for a creamy result.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions for 7 minutes without browning them. Lower the heat, add garlic and cook for 5 more minutes. Your beans should still be hot, bring them back to a simmer, add onion mixture. Ready to serve.
Traditionally, feijoada is served with sauteed collard greens, vinaigrette (here called Brazilian vinagrete), farofa, orange slices and white rice.
YEILDS: 12 servings
BRAZILIAN WHITE RICE
This is a basic Brazilian white rice recipe, and if you follow these steps your rice will always come up perfectly well cooked, tender but not too soft, never mushy.
1 cup basmati rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups water, boiling (nuked in a microwave works just fine)
1 teaspoon salt
How To Make It
Heat oil in a thick pot over medium heat, add onions and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute, then add rice and stir frequently for 4 minutes. Add hot water and salt, cover and cook for 8 minutes. Lower heat and let it cook for 6 more minutes until rice is dry. Fluff with a fork and it’s ready to serve. (We keep our pan on the stove to keep rice warm while we serve.)
VINAGRETE, or Brazilian Vinaigrette
2 diced tomatoes
1 diced small onion
1/2 cup chopped parsley or cilantro
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Steps To Make It:
Place all ingredients in a bowl. Stir gently. Ready to serve.
SAUTEED COLLAR GREENS
Bunch of collards, 1, finely chopped
Garlic clove, 1, minced or sliced
Vegetable oil, 2 tbsp
How To Make It:
Chop collard greens finely. Mince or slice garlic. Heat oil on a big skillet on medium heat. Add collards and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic to the bottom of skillet and cook for an additional 3 minutes. (For an American taste, it’s also possible to cook for 5 minutes total, adding garlic after collards have been cooking for 3 minutes.)
FAROFA is a manioc-flour based mixed we usually buy at Kalustyans. You can also get yours at www.AmigoFoods.com
ORANGE SLICES are served on the side as well, not as a dressing to your meal, just eat them.