A friend of mine who visited Brazil many years ago and tasted my wife’s feijoada recently asked me about its recipe. A few days ago, Beth (my wife) was about to make a feijoada and I took some pictures and collected the necessary information to teach my friend how to prepare it. I’m publishing the instructions here, in English, so other foreigners can try this really tasty Brazilian typical food.
By the way, there is a legend in Brazil that feijoada was a food made by/for the slaves using the remaining meat from the “big house”, but that’s not true. Feijoada is an adaption of cassoulet and, imho, a much better and enhanced version.
Feijoada is mostly black beans mixed with different cuts of pork meat and sausages, and should be eaten preferably in the winter. If you wanna give it a special touch, you can prepare it in the wood stove 😉
So, let’s go… I’ll do my best to translate the ingredients names correctly. Probably some of the sausages can be hard to find outside Brazil, but with the currently globalization, I believe it is possible to find anything anywhere:
- Black beans
- Calabresa sausage (google translated as Pepperoni Sausage, but I don’t think it is really the same thing)
- Paio sausage (Google doesn’t know how to translate this)
- Pork loin
- Smoked pork ribs
- Jerked beef
- Smoked bacon (or maybe, as my friend said after looking at the photo: fat salt pork)
For the ingredient amounts, well… for this recipe, we used 1kg of black beans, 250g of calabresa, 170g of Paio, 350g of ribs and 150g of bacon. You may play around with the quantities as you wish, but this amounts already gave us a great feijoada!
PS: Some people like also to add pork foot, ear, etc. We don’t, but this is a personal taste.
Preparing the feijoada
You must start preparing it one day before eating.
At night, put the black beans into water and let it sleep overnight (if necessary, you can complete with more water from time to time, since the beans will probably absorb the water).
Get a pan and put the jerked beef covered with water. Leave it there for 30 minutes. You can do the same with other salted meats that you may have. This is to remove the salt from the meat, as you probably guessed.
Throw out the water, and repeat the process two more times, but for the 2nd and 3rd times, you will boil the meat in the water to help with the salt extraction.