Feijoada, Brazilian Black Bean Stew

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

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

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.