Many years ago, an associate invited me to dinner at his home; the menu was a thick and hearty black bean stew with a glorious mixture of meats: beef, Pork in several incarnations, and sausage. The meal was served with rice, cornbread, sauteed collard greens, and beers. (Thanks, Gilles!)
I do so miss those days. But I will have them back.
As we transition from full-on summer into damned near arctic winter, or so it feels, I find myself gravitating from the grill into the kitchen and from hot and fast cooking to low and slow. This is a perfect dish for that. Slow simmered so that the meats are falling off the bone, the smokey taste of the bacon and sausage permeates the beans, and the beans slowly tenderize and dissolve, yielding their statch to thicken and flavor the stew.
As the traditional recipes call for things not often found in the modern mega-mart, I have made substitutions. (Please hold the pitchforks and torches.)
Feijoada (Portuguese pronunciation: [fejʒuˈadɐ]) is a stew of beans with beef and pork. The name feijoada comes from feijão, ‘bean’ in Portuguese. It is widely prepared in the Portuguese-speaking world, with slight variations.
The basic ingredients of feijoada are beans and fresh pork or beef. In Brazil, it is usually made with black beans (feijoada à brasileira). The stew is best prepared over low heat in a thick clay pot.
It is usually served with rice and assorted sausages such as chouriço, morcela (blood sausage), farinheira, and others, which may or may not be cooked in the stew.
The Brazilian version of feijoada (feijoada completa) is prepared with black beans, a variety of salted pork or beef products, such as pork trimmings (ears, tail, feet), bacon, smoked pork ribs, and at least two types of smoked sausage and jerked beef (loin and tongue). The final dish has the beans and meat pieces barely covered by a dark purplish-brown broth. The taste is strong, moderately salty but not spicy, dominated by black bean and meat stew flavors. It is customary to serve it with white rice and oranges, the latter to help with digestion, as well as couve, a side dish of stir-fried, chopped collard greens, and a crumbly topping called farofa, made of manioc flour.
Feijoada, Black Bean Stew
- 1 lb Black Beans Dried
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 ea Onions Large, Peeled, Sliced
- 2 ea Pork Chops Boneless, thick cut, 1" cubes
- 1 lb Kielbasa
- 1 head Garlic Peeled, and chopped
- 1 lb Chuck Steak Thick cut, 1" cubes
- 6 slices Bacon Thick Cut, 1" Chunks
- 1 ea Ham Hock Smoked
- 2 ribs Celery Washed, 1" Chunks
- 2 ea Bell Peppers Washed, Seeded, 1" Chunks
- 1 can Crushed Tomatoes 14.5 oz
- 3 ea Bay Leaves
- Wash, sort and soak the beans at least 8 hours or overnight
- In a large cast-iron Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it spiders. Add the beef and pork. (pork chop and bacon). Brown, remove and set aside.
- Add the onions, bell pepper, and celery to the dutch oven and brown whilst scraping and stirring. ~2 minutes
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring and scraping. ~ 60 seconds
- Reduce heat to medium, add the browned meat, sausage, ham hock, and bay leaves, bring to a gentle simmer, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
- Drain the beans and add; Return to a simmer, and cook covered until the beans are tender. 90 to 120 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, mix well, taste, and correct seasoning. Simmer uncovered until the ham hock is falling apart. 2-3 hours.
- Serve with rice and hot sauce.
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