A hearty black bean and mixed meat stew that is often called the national dish of Brazil.
Black beans are a must in this recipe if you want it to be authentically Brazilian. A Portuguese version uses white beans, however.
- 1 pound (450 grams) dry black beans
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 pound (450 grams) pork shoulder, cut into chunks
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 pound (450 grams) carne seca or corned beef, cut into chunks
- 1/2 pound (225 grams) fresh sausages, such as chorizo or Italian sausage
- 1 pound (450 grams) smoked sausage, such as linguica or kielbasa
- 1 smoked ham hock or shank
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 1 14.5 ounce can (411 grams) of crushed tomatoes
1 Pour boiling water over the black beans and let them sit while you prepare the rest of the stew.
2 Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and brown the pork shoulder. When it has browned, remove the meat from the pot, set aside and add the onions to the pot. Brown them, stirring occasionally, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle a little salt over the onions and add the garlic. Stir well and sauté 2 more minutes.
3 Add back the pork shoulder, and the other meats and add enough water to cover. Add the bay leaves, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 1 hour. Drain the black beans from their soaking liquid and add them to the stew. Simmer gently, covered, until the beans are tender, about an hour and a half.
4 Add the tomatoes, stir well and taste for salt, adding if it's needed. Simmer this, uncovered, until the meat begins to fall off the ham hock, which will probably take 2-3 hours.
Serve with white rice and hot sauce. A classic side dish would be sautéed collard greens.