Feijoada
Recipes > Soups > Feijoada

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Recipe Checklist:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Black Beans
  • 4 T Olive Oil (Divided)
  • 2 C Onions (Chopped)
  • 2 T Garlic (Minced)
  • Bouquet Garni
  • Salt (To Taste)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper (To Taste)
  • 1 lb Chorizo Sausage (in one piece) (hard sausage preferred)
  • 1 lb Linguiça, Kielbasa or Italian Sweet Sausage (without Fennel) (in one piece)
  • 1 lb Beef Brisket or Boneless Pork Loin
  • 1 lb Baby Back Spareribs (in one piece)
  • 1 Pig’s Foot, split lengthwise (optional)
  • 1 1/2 lbs Smoked Pork Chops, Pork Loin or Pork Butt (use regular Pork if smoked is not available)
  • 1/2 lb Smoked Bacon (in one piece) or Salt Pork
  • 1 dried Red Chili
  • 10 C Water (or more if needed)
  • 1/3 C Orange Juice
  • 4 to 5 C thinly sliced Collard Greens (1 large or 2 small bunches)
  • 6 Garlic Cloves (Crushed)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 12 Cilantro Sprigs
  • 4 C White Long Grain Rice
  • Hot Sauce (optional)
  • 2 Oranges, (Halved & Sliced in Thin Wedges)
  • Pickled Chilies (whole or sliced)
Tools & Equipment
  • Large Pot (for Soaking Beans)
  • Colander/Strainer
  • Medium Pot (for parboiling Bacon or Salt Pork)
  • Large Heavy-Bottom Pot or Stovetop Casserole Dish
  • Large Skillet or Sauté Pan
  • Large Mixing Spoon
  • Kitchen Tongs
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Paring Knife
  • Medium Bowl
  • Fork or Potato Masher
  • Large Serving Platter
  • 2 Large Serving Bowls for Beans and Rice
  • Other Plates and smaller Bowls for Garnishes
Yield
Serves 6-8
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Feijoada is a Portuguese slow-cooked, hearty Meat and Bean Stew.  The link has more information which you may find interesting as you cook this dish.

In Portugal, Feijoada is usually made with Kidney Beans or White Beans.  In Brazil (the version we’re including here), the Feijoada uses Black Beans and is known as the Brazilian National Dish.  The stew is traditionally served with cooked White Rice and cut Oranges alongside, and in Brazil each serving is also topped with a sprinkling of Farofa, essentially toasted Manioc Flour(aka Cassava Flour or Yucca Flour) which gives it more body.

Preparation

The longest lead time item will be soaking the Black Beans for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight. Begin by sorting the Raw Black Beans to remove any dried out beans, pebbles, etc. Next, rinse them in a Colander.  Place the Black Beans in a medium-large pot and add enough cold water to cover.  Cover and soak the Black Beans at room temperature for a minimum of 6 hours. Once soaked sufficiently, drain the beans and set them aside.

Before you begin the active phase, you will also want to have prepared your Farofa, which is a traditional accompaniment for Feijoada.

If using the Pig’s Foot, place it in a Medium-Sized Pot and add water to cover.  Bring to a Boil over High Heat, then lower the heat and Simmer 5 minutes.  Add the Smoked Bacon or Salt Pork and simmer for 5 minutes more.  Drain and set aside the Pig’s Foot until you are ready to Brown it.

While the Pig’s Foot Simmers you should have a few minutes to Peel and Chop the Onions and Garlic, which should be set aside until needed.

You will want to also prepare your Bouquet Garni before moving onto the active phase. The Bouquet Garni Exercise explains how to make one, but for this Feijoada we like to change up the ingredients list. We use 6 crushed cloves of Garlic, 2 Bay Leaves and 12 Cilantro Sprigs for our Bouquet Garni for Feijoada.

Essentially, you can pick and choose from the meats included in the Ingredients List (Beef Brisket/ Boneless Pork Loin/ Smoked Pork Chops/ Pork Loin/ Pork Butt/ Baby Back Ribs/ Chorizo/ Kielbasa/ Linguiça) but you should give some consideration to balancing your flavors and achieving an overall “Brazilian” flavor. The important thing is the overall amount and flavor of the meat in proportion to your other ingredients.

When you are ready to Brown your chosen meats, Rub the non-sausage Meats, with a little Salt and Black Pepper and set them aside. Place a large Sauté Pan over Medium/High Heat and add 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil.  Brown all of your chosen Meats, one at a time, working in batches in the pan. Each should take about 5 minutes per side. Add more Olive Oil if needed.

When the non-sausage Meats are finished, go ahead and Brown your Sausage selection(s), if any. Set all of the browned meats aside for a short while. 

There will be some preparation to do with the Collard Greens. You can do the prep in advance or wait until the Feijoada is Simmering away. Whenever you choose to undertake the task, the Collard Greens should be rinsed and De-Stemmed. They should then be Sliced very thin cross-wise. Set them aside in a large bowl, ready to add to the Stew later on.

You will also have to prepare some of the Garnishes (Orange Halves cut in thin wedges & Pickled Chilies whole or sliced) and accompaniments like the cooked Long Grain White Rice. They can be done ahead or while the Feijoada is cooking. We call for a starchy Long Grain White Rice so that the grains will remain separated and so that it will be more of a neutral background for the Feijoada. The Long Grain Rice should be cooked by the Simmer for Starchy Rice Types Method. We suggest cooking the Long Grain White Rice alongside the Feijoada for the last 45 minutes of cook time, but if you plan to cook the Rice ahead of time, hold it cold in the refrigerator and then re-heat it just prior to service.

Method

With all of your Mise en Place set, you can begin the active phase. Place a large heavy-bottomed Stockpot over Medium High Heat and add 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil. When the Oil is hot, add the Onions and Garlic. Sauté them until the Onion is soft and translucent (do not allow the garlic to Brown). The Onions should be translucent in about 5 minutes.  

When the Onion and Garlic are soft, add to the pot the drained Black Beans, 10 cups of Water, all the Meats (except the Sausages), the dried Red Chili and the Bouquet Garni.  Stir well, cover the pot and bring the mixture to a Boil. Once a Boil is reached, lower the heat to a Simmer. Simmer the Feijoada for 1 ½ hours. Occasionally, uncover the Pot and Skim to remove excess Fat and also other impurities. After you are finished, stir the Feijoada to be sure it’s not sticking to the bottom of the pot.  Add more water if necessary.

After the Feijoada has Simmered for about 1 & ½ hours, add in the firmer Sausages (Chorizo, Linguiça, Kielbasa, etc. but not the Italian Sausage), if using.  Simmer for 30 more minutes.

With about an hour of cook time to go, you may prefer to start Simmering your Long Grain White Rice on a separate burner on your stovetop, if you have not already cooked it as part of your Preparation. Smart Kitchen’s Simmer for Starchy Rice Types Exercise explains the method. If the Rice is ready a little bit early, Hold the cooked Rice on Low Heat at the back of the stove to so it’s warm for service. If you still have some free time and have not prepared the Orange wedges, cut the Oranges in slices or wedges and set aside.  Hold the cut oranges covered and refrigerated until service.  Also place the pickled chilies in small or medium-sized bowls for serving.

After the firmer Sausages have Simmered in the Feijoada a further 30 minutes, remove about 2 cups of Black Beans to a medium Mixing Bowl.  Add the Orange Juice to the Black Beans and mash them together with Fork or Potato Masher until a coarse mixture is formed.  Stir the mashed Black Beans and Orange Juice back into the stew.  Add the softer Italian Sausage to the Feijoada now if you are planning to use it.

After adding the mashed beans and Orange Juice and optional Italian Sausage to the stew, scatter the sliced Collard Greens in a layer on top of the mixture.  Re-cover the pot and allow the heat from the Stew to cook the greens for about 15 minutes.  Stir the semi-cooked greens into the stew and continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes more, until the Collards are completely tender.  Taste for seasoning and add more Salt and Black Pepper if necessary. When the Collard Greens are tender, your Feijoada is finished.

To serve the Feijoada, remove the Meats with Kitchen Tongs and allow them to rest on a Work Surface until cool enough to handle.  Slice/Cut all the Meats except the Bacon/Salt Pork or Pig’s Foot (if using) into serving pieces.  Place the sliced meats (without bones, except for the Ribs) on a large Serving Platter.

Ladle the Beans and Collard Greens into a Large Serving Bowl, being sure to remove the Bouquet Garni, Red Chili Pepper, Bacon / Salt Pork and optional Pig’s Foot pieces.

Serve the Feijoada family style with the garnishes on the table, allowing each person to compose their own plates.  Alternatively, you can prepare individual plates, garnishing each with Orange slices/wedges and passing the Hot Sauce, Pickled Chilies and Toasted Manioc Flour at the table.