Feijoada, Brazilian Black Bean Stew

Soup and StewBrazilianGluten-FreePork

A hearty black bean and mixed meat stew that is often called the national dish of Brazil.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Hank introduced me to this Brazilian black bean stew a couple months ago and I couldn’t stop eating it. It is outstanding. And perfect for the chilly weather we’re having these days. ~Elise

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).

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, more like a traditional stew.

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

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, Brazilian Black Bean Stew Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 5 hours
  • Yield: Serves 10 to 12

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 tablespoons extra virgin 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
  • Water
  • 1 14.5 ounce can (411 grams) of crushed tomatoes
  • Salt


1 Soak 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, 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 meat, bay leaves, cover with water, simmer: 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.

5 Add soaked black beans, simmer: 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 tomatoes and simmer: 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.

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Portuguese Feijoada with White Beans - from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Hank Shaw

A former restaurant cook and journalist, Hank Shaw is the author of three wild game cookbooks as well as the James Beard Award-winning wild foods website Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. His latest cookbook is Buck, Buck, Moose, a guide to working with venison. He hunts, fishes, forages and cooks near Sacramento, CA.

More from Hank

45 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Silence

    This tastes delicious. The only thing I would do differently is to wait until the last hour to put in the Italian sausage and Linguica so it isn’t overcooked to the point it disintegrates(this is the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5)…also, perhaps a little non traditional but, is delicious served with a dallop of sour cream on top.


  2. Don

    Deliciosa! We’ve been feeling “saudades” for Brazilian black beans and Brazilian rice (cooked with fried onions and garlic as well). We usually share this with a neighbor who mentioned missing this dish, since it has been many months since I’ve made it.


  3. Maria

    Thanks for the recipe! I just got back from my first trip to Brazil where I met my boyfriend’s whole family and ate the most delicious feijoada. Im so excited to make this for my family and friends this weekend here in the US! It will be their first time eating a Brazilian-style meal. We’ll serve it with rice, farofa, collards, oranges, palm hearts, pão de queijo, caipirinhas, and pudim for dessert.
    I cant find the carne seca but I did find a Goya brand canned corned beef made in Brazil at the Latino food store. Would this work? My family is Irish so the only corned beef I know is the roast. Are they the same?

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Cookie

    Delicious, my whole family love it. Thanks for sharing!


  5. [email protected]

    Thanks for the recipe, it’s so delicious! I modify a little bit, using osso buco and add only a small amount of salt because the smoke hock is salty enough.


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