Feijoada (Brazilian Black Bean Stew)

Feijoada is a hearty black bean stew recipe made with meat, black beans, garlic, and tomatoes, and it's the national dish of Brazil. Served over rice, it’s a filling meal to warm you up on a chilly winter day. It also pairs well with collard greens!

Feijoada Brazilian Black Bean Stew
Elise Bauer

This is another of those big, hearty, meat-and-bean stews that seem to be the national dish of one country or another. In this case, the country is Brazil and the stew is feijoada (fay-ZHWA-dah).

Ingredients in Feijoada

Feijoada has as many versions as there are cooks, but in Brazil, it almost always has black beans and always has a mixture of salted, smoked, and fresh meats.

Some versions are a little spicy from the sausages, others totally mild. Some people's feijoada are thick "eat-it-with-a-fork" versions, others, like this one, are more like a traditional stew.

Either way, it's traditional to serve this stew with white rice and maybe some sautéed collard greens.

Meats to Use in Feijoada

One common ingredient is carne seca, a salted, dried beef often available in Latin markets. Corned beef is a decent substitute for carne seca, and it is what we use here in this recipe.

As for the other meats, they should be a mix of pork and beef, with a little heavier on the pork. Authentic feijoada has all sorts of bits in it, such as tails, trotters, ears, etc. This version, however, sticks to the sort of meats found in a typical American supermarket.

feijoada
Elise Bauer

What is Brazilian Feijoada? 

Feijoada originated in Portugal, named for the Portuguese word for beans, "feijão." It's a bean-based dish made with various meats and vegetables. Like many stews, its ingredients are flexible. It may have come to Brazil when Portugal colonized the country in the 16th century (similar dishes are found in other countries colonized by Portugal) or when European settlers came to Brazil.

While its origins are uncertain, what is certain is that it is now the national dish of Brazil. Just like with chili in the U.S., various regions have their specific ways of preparing it. Brazilians often serve the beans and meats separately. Our recipe is a simplified feijoada with the beans and meat cooked and served together.

Traditional Feijoada Accompaniments 

White rice and simply cooked collard greens or kale are a must to accompany feijoada. Farofa, a traditional Brazilian side dish made with toasted cassava (or manioc) flour, is also commonly served with the dish as are spicy sauces, known as molho, made from hot peppers, onion, and vinegar or citrus juice. Orange slices are also a traditional accompaniment.

How to Store and Reheat Feijoada

Refrigerator: Store cooled leftovers — or make the entire dish a day ahead and let the flavors meld together overnight in the fridge — tightly covered for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stove over medium high heat until the stew bubbles and the meat reaches 165°F.

Freeze: Store in a freezer safe zipper or container for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stove over medium high heat until the stew bubbles and the meat reaches 165°F.

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From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Feijoada (Brazilian Black Bean Stew)

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs 15 mins
Total Time 5 hrs 30 mins
Servings 10 to 12 servings

Black beans are a must in this recipe if you want it to be authentically Brazilian. A Portuguese version uses white beans, however.

Our feijoada has tomatoes, but you wouldn’t find those in most Brazilian recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (450g) dry black beans

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 pound (450g) pork shoulder

  • 2 large onions, sliced

  • 1 head garlic, peeled and chopped

  • 1 pound (450g) carne seca or corned beef, cut into chunks

  • 1/2 pound (225g) fresh sausages, such as chorizo or Italian sausage

  • 1 pound (450g) smoked sausage, such as linguica or kielbasa

  •  1 smoked ham hock or shank

  • 3 to 4 bay leaves

  • Water

  • 1 14.5 ounce can (411g) crushed tomatoes

  • Kosher salt

Method

  1. Soak the beans in hot water:

    Pour boiling water over the black beans and let them sit while you prepare the rest of the stew.

  2. Brown the pork shoulder:

    Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and brown the pork shoulder. When the meat has browned, remove the meat from the pot, set aside.

  3. Brown the onions and add garlic:

    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.

  4. Add the meat, bay leaves, and water:

    Add back the pork shoulder and the other meats. Add enough water to cover all ingredients. Add the bay leaves, cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 1 hour.

  5. Add the soaked black beans:

    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.

  6. Add the tomatoes:

    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 to 3 hours.

    Serve with white rice and hot sauce. A classic side dish would be sautéed collard greens.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
522 Calories
31g Fat
31g Carbs
30g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 522
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 10g 49%
Cholesterol 99mg 33%
Sodium 845mg 37%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 10mg 49%
Calcium 94mg 7%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 1004mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.