Feijoada (Brazilian traditional stew)

 

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Feijoada is the most traditional Brazilian dish, it dates back to the 17th century in colonial times when the European Portuguese were making their fortune in its coffee plantations, and in its sugar cane growing regions.

The origins of feijoada are not really Brazilian, but have really close similarities with the medieval pork and beans stews of the Southern Europe, the famous cassoulets , in particular those of Portugal.

The Brazilian touch in this old dish lays on the season (lots of garlic, native peppers and the hands of each one who make it – because it counts), the black beans and the  combination of the side dishes that make of this traditional dish a icon of Brazilian cuisine. There is thousand of “best recipes ever” of feijoada all around, But in the end everyone can adjust its own touch of season, and its own way. What really matters is the joy of eaten a good delicious meals and the company.

 

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FEIJOADA

1 lb. uncooked black beans
250g. smoked bacon
200g. dried meat (carne seca).
300g. Smoked meat, cubed
500 g. pork ribs

500g. pork shoulder

300 g. smoked pork sausage
250 g. portuguese style Chorizo (chouriço)
2 large onions, chopped
6-7 cloves of garlic
3 bay leaves

1 navel orange, peeled and removed off all the white part

salt and pepper to taste

First we must prepare the beans and the dried meat . The beans must be put to soak overnight, in enough hot water to cover it completely. Separately, the dried meat too, must to be put to soak overnight, but in cold water, and that water must to be changed every 6 hours if happens to be that that dried meat is also salted.  The next day, drain the dried meat and reserve.

In a big pan, fry the bacon in a little bit of oil. Add the onion, the garlic and mix well. Add the bay leaves. When the onion staring to be translucent add the other meats, except the sausages. Let it all fry a bit and produce its juices together.

Add the beans with all the water that it soaks in overnight, the orange, and the sausages. Mix very well, cover the pan and let it cook in median-low heat per 1 hour, mixing sometimes. When this hour pass, check the pan to see if the beans are already cooked. It might stay almost another hour in low heat. Check the salt, add pepper to taste. It will be ready when the beans are really soft and its liquid smooth.

It is generally served with white rice, farofa, collard greens, orange sliced, and fried pork skin.

FAROFA

300 g. Bacon, cut in little squares

100 g. smoked sausage (calabresa) also cut in little squares

1 small onion, chopped

2 garlic clover, chopped

2 1/2 cups coarse cassava flour

2 Tbsp oil

salt and pepper to taste

In a sauce pan (big enough to fit all the ingredients), put the oil and fry the bacon, and than the sausage. When they are fried, add onions and garlic, saute a little and add little salt (remember the bacon and the sausage already have salt) and pepper. Add the cassava flour, and do not stop to delicately stir, so everything gets well mixed and the cassava flour little golden and do not burn. It takes around 2-3 minutes. Ready.

COLLARD GREENS

1 pack of collard greens

1/2 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil (or pork fat)

Wash the collard green leaves very well. Put them together, one on the top of another, and slice them really thin. Reserve

In a skillet, put the oil and fry the onion and the garlic just a bit, just until you can smell the garlic. Add the collard green all at once, and stir until everything is well mixed and the collard shrink. Very quick process. When you see the collard shrinks taste the salt, turn off the heat and cover the skillet. It is ready. (We do not cook the collard greens in this dish, just saute really quick. It might be a little crunchy)

 

where to found

It might be difficult to found some itens like cassava flour and carne seca in the regular grocery stores. I would try with more success in Latin stores, or even online (I can suggest http://www.amigofoods.com), but have all kinds of online brazilian and Latin stores. All that takes is time and plan.

 

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