Citizens, the Rio Olympics are in full swing and it would be remiss of your glorious leader to ignore the mighty country of Brazil’s ubiquitous and favorite dish, Feijoada! Of course, my Feijoada is traditional, ultimately meaty and as good as you will find in Rio!
Feijoada is a stew of beans with beef and pork, which is a typical Portuguese dish. Feijoada is also typically cooked in former colonies such as Brazil, Macau, Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique and Goa (India). However, the recipe differs slightly from one country to another.
Brazilian feijoada – the name derives, unsurprisingly, from feijão (Portuguese for “beans”).
The basic ingredients of feijoada are beans with fresh pork or beef. In Brazil, it is usually made with black beans; in the northeast (Bahia), it is generally prepared with kidney beans (Feijoada à Brasileira), and includes other vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, and cabbage. 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.
All over Brazil, “caldo de feijão” (roughly “black bean soup”) is served in bars, in mugs, with pork rinds on the side as a hangover killer.
Farofa is a traditional accompaniment to lots of Brazilian dishes. Coarse cassava (manioc) flour can be found in some delis or online. However, breadcrumbs can be substituted.
Also traditionally served with collard greens and rice plus a hot salsa to cut through the richness of the dish, this is a mighty feast worthy of an Olympian, Citizens! 🙂 I give you the complete recipes below, the main stew recipe is based closely on a version I discovered in “The Guardian” newspaper.
Also feel free try the several other outstanding Brazilian recipes on TFD here!
Battle on – The Generalissimo
1 small smoked ham hock
1 onion, peeled, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled, roughly chopped
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
400g dried black beans
5 garlic cloves, whole
1 whole red jalapeño chili, split (optional but recommended)
300g corned beef
300g pork belly
300g smoked kielbasa
300g Portuguese choriço (preferred) or use Mexican chorizo
300g pork ribs
1 tbsp olive oil
150g piece slab bacon
1 pigs trotter, split (optional but strongly recommended)
3 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
A pinch of dry thyme
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp red wine vinegar
Sliced orange wedges for garnish and squeezing into stew
Brazilian Feijoada Greens:
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
3 bunches collard greens, washed and finely shredded
Salt and black pepper
½ cup chopped malaguetas or dedo-de-moca peppers, or use fresh scotch bonnets and/or jalapenos to taste
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 ½ cups fresh lime juice
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
200g cassava flour
A pinch of salt
The day before, rinse the hock in plenty of cold water. Put in a pan with the onion and garlic, the peppercorns and the bay leaf. Bring up to the boil and simmer for about 3 hours or until the meat pulls away easily from the ham bone. Allow the meat to cool down in the stock. Refrigerate overnight, keeping the ham stock.
Soak the beans and corned beef separately for 12 hours.
Cut the pieces of pork shoulder and belly into 2-3 cm chunks along with the sausages and chorizo. Add the ribs: these can be split into single pieces or cooked whole.
Heat the oil in a large pan. Brown off the pork pieces, corned beef, sausages, pancetta and trotter in batches. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and add the onions, garlic, herbs and paprika. Stir well and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Return the pork pieces, corned beef and the trotter to the pan, leaving the sausages and bacon to one side. Add about 500ml of the reserved ham-hock stock to the pan and bring up to the boil. Cover and simmer for an hour.
Add the rest of the meat to the pan along with the cooked beans. Stir well and simmer for another hour or until the pork pieces are tender. If the sauce seems watery, turn the heat up and reduce for a few minutes to concentrate the flavor.
Mash several tablespoons of the beans to thicken the sauce.
Pick any meat off your precooked ham hock and add it and the vinegar to the stew. Check seasoning and serve with farofa sprinkled over each serving. Be sure to also squeeze an orange wedge or two into the stew! Serve with rice, salsa and greens for an ultimate feast!
Trim the stems and thick center ribs from the collard greens and discard them. Stack a few leaves and roll them tightly into a cigar shape. Cut into very thin strips crosswise and place the strips in a bowl. Repeat with the remaining leaves.
You should have between 2 and 3 packed cups total. Fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Add about 1 tablespoon salt, then add the collard greens and blanch for 30 to 60 seconds, until wilted. Drain, transfer to an ice bath to cool, then drain again.
In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until it just starts to turn golden, about 2 minutes.
Add the collard greens (you might need to do this in batches) and stir to coat them in the oil. Season with salt and pepper, add about ¼ cup water, and cook until the greens are soft but still bright green, about 3 minutes.
Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl.
Melt the butter and oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Cook the onion for 5 minutes before tipping in the flour.
Turn the heat down and cook the the flour for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly so the flour becomes slightly toasted and crunchy.