Brazilian feijoada or "Feijoada Brasileira" usually includes a bean stew with a spicy sauce, pork meat, white rice, farofa, kale and sliced oranges.
How can a person prepare an authentic feijoada when living outside Brazil? There are specific ingredients and smoked pork parts that are difficult to find elsewhere. Components that are easily found at almost any street corner in Brazil become a challenging quest when you are out of the country. Depending on the place you are living in, it is quite a hardship to find, for example, salted pork ribs, loins, or feet; furthermore, it is difficult to find any salted pork parts like ears, tail, or tongue.
In order to prepare this alternative Brazilian feijoada, all ingredients can be found in major supermarkets, and the taste will still be authentic. The hardest thing to find though is the manioc meal (roasted cassava flour), used to prepare the farofa. However, it can be found in Latino or international stores. The farofa can also be done with cornbread stuffing. Though the black beans are almost the same everywhere, this alternative feijoada recipe uses non-spicy, pre-cooked canned black beans. The main adaptations to the original recipe of feijoada are mostly in the meat that was used. The carne-seca (dehydrated meat) was replaced by filet mignon (as an additional option, jerked beef can be used); regular pork ribs were used as a substitute for smoked pork ribs; smoked sausage can be used as a substitute for the paio; the lombinho (tenderloins) was replaced by ham steak. The recipe below serves 6 people.
Stew: Black beans, 2-3 cans (pre-cooked)
Meat: filet mignon medallion, 2 units; pork ribs, ½ lb.; smoked sausage, 1 unit; ham steak, ¼ lb.; smoked pork chops (such as Hormell), 1 package; jerked beef (optional).
Side foods: rice, 3 cups; kale; white toasted cassava/manioc flour, 2 cups; sliced oranges (one unit for each guest); farofa, approximately 1 lb., and a spicy bean sauce.
Seasonings: onion, 2 medium units; garlic, (optional, to be used in the rice); olive oil, canola oil (optional); parsley; chives; cilantro; finger hot red pepper; salt; Tabasco sauce; sugar (a pinch to be used in the kale); a chicken flavor bouillon (Knorr can be a good suggestion), 2 tsp. to be used in the farofa.
1. To be done three days before
- 1. First, the pork ribs must be salted.
- 2. Put them inside a large stockpot and cover them thoroughly with salt.
- 3. Then cut off one of the ribs (already salted), put it in a plastic bag, and set it aside in the fridge.
- 4. Cover the stockpot with the rest of the ribs and keep it in the fridge for three days.
2. To be done the day before
- 1. Take the stockpot with the ribs out the fridge and start the process of withdrawing the excess salt, soaking them in cold water and changing the water three times in intervals of 6 hours. Each time you change the water, return the covered stockpot with water and ribs back to the fridge.
- 2. After the third and last time, fill again the stockpot with the ribs and water and leave it in the fridge until the time you will start the cooking process.
3. Final Preparations
- 1. Cut the 2 filets mignon into one-inch cubes.
- 2. Slice the smoked sausage as thick as you wish.
- 3. Cut the bacon into small cubes.
- 4. Cut the ham steak into one-inch cubes
- 5. Cut the smoked pork chops into small pieces. Do not cast away the bone yet; leave some meat on it to be cooked altogether.
- 6. If you are also using jerked beef, cut the pieces proportionally to the rest of the meat.
- 7. If any part of the meat has bones, leave part of the meat on the bones to be cooked altogether.
- 8. Peel and cut one onion into small pieces.
- 9. If you are using garlic for the rice, peel and press two cloves of garlic (optional).
- 10. Wash the rice thoroughly and set it aside to dry.
- 11. Slice the kale in very small stripes, wash it and set it aside.
- 12. Chop the parsley and the chives.
4. Feijoada cooking process
- 1. Take the stockpot with the ribs out of the fridge and throw out the water.
- 2. Divide the ribs; if you think they are too big, cut each in half.
- 3. In a large pan, put ¼ cup olive oil and heat it.
- 4. Then add the sliced bacon together with the ribs, including the salted rib you left aside in the fridge, as described in step 1.3. (Note: the salt on this specific piece of rib will be the basic salt enough for the preparation.)
- 5. Put the lid on, and cook all together for 10-15 minutes in medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- 6. Add the sliced onion, the parsley, and the chives.
- 7. Add the rest of the sliced meat and cook during more 15 minutes.
- 8. Then, add 2-3 cans of black beans, plus one can of water, and cook for more 30 minutes.
- 9. When it starts boiling, decrease the heat to medium-low temperature. Stir occasionally.
- 10. Taste the salt. It should be enough. If you want to add more salt, be careful. Do not salt your feijoada too much.
- 11. Watch the water. Add more (hot) water, if you want your feijoada more liquid.
- 12. Your feijoada will be ready when the meat becomes soft and loosens from the bones.
- 13. Now you can take out the bones, if you wish. Serve it warm.
Note: Feijoada can be eaten the same day, but it will be much more tasty when served the next day.
- 1. In a medium pan, put olive oil and ¼ onion and cook until it gets soft.
- 2. Add garlic if you want.
- 3. Add the rice previously washed and dry. Add a pinch of salt and stir.
- 4. Add hot water (for each cup of rice, use 2 cups of water) and cook until it starts boiling, and then reduce the heat.
- 5. Put the lid on and finish cooking observing the water at the bottom.
- 6. The rice will be ready when the water evaporates and the rice becomes soft.
- 1. In a pan, fry one cup of sliced bacon until it becomes golden brown.
- 2. Add ¼ cup of black olives and cook.
- 3. Add ¼ cup of olive oil and ¼ sliced onion. Cook until it becomes soft.
- 4. When heated, pour the cassava/manioc flour and stir until you get the desired consistency.
- 5. The amount of flour will determine the consistency.
- 6. Be careful with the heat; your Farofa should not be burnt in the bottom.
- 1. In a pan or a skillet, put enough olive oil and sliced onion for the amount of kale you use.
- 2. Add the sliced kale with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar (this will help your kale remain green).
- 3. Put the lid on and cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
- 1. Peel the oranges you have already set aside.
- 2. Cut them in round slices and put them in a ceramic bowl or on a plate.
Spicy Bean Sauce
- 1. In a ceramic or metal bowl, put the cilantro, chives, salt, olive oil, a little bit of vinegar, and one finely chopped red hot finger pepper, and add a cup of warm bean broth, and stir altogether.
- 2. Use a teaspoon to serve.
- 3. This sauce can be used on top of the feijoada and is added individually.
The feijoada is ready to be served. Enjoy it!