Feijoada is a Brazilian stew containing black beans, beef and pork that is simmered together in a large pot over low heat for several hours. This dish is popular throughout the Portuguese-speaking world and is considered a national dish of Brazil. It is considered to be a soul food and is commonly served alongside rice and cooked collard greens.
The Brazilian version of the stew, and the one most enjoyed in the Western hemisphere, uses black beans as opposed to the white beans used in Portuguese variations of this recipe. There are also some areas of Brazil that will use brown or red beans, though this is seen as a more local taste.
Feijoada is easy to make in large batches and is enjoyed at events and social gatherings alongside family and friends. It is often eaten on the weekends when people will gather for intimate dinners or to watch sports games together.
Although the cooking time is long, it actually requires little involvement when making. Most recipes are also not particular about what kind of beef and pork meats are used. Usually, the meat used is smoked or salted such as bacon, smoked pork ribs, ham hock and different kinds of sausages.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Brazilian feijoada first appeared in Recife, a large city in the state of Pernambuco. The title of the dish comes from the Portuguese word for beans and was not an entirely new concept. However, the incorporation of black beans and a mixture of meats was a contrast to the simpler Portuguese version.
In Brazilian cities, feijoada follows some interesting traditions. In Rio de Janeiro, it is often served on Fridays whereas in São Paulo it is served on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It is usually served at restaurants frequented by the working class as it provides a cheap and hearty meal for busy workers.
Food historians have also drawn an interesting comparison between feijoada and American soul food. They are similar in their methods of long, slow cooking over low heat as well as the mixture of meats. Seeing as American soul food finds its origin in the African slave trade, which also took place between West Africa and Brazil at the hands of the Portuguese, these connections could make sense and speak to a shared history across the three continents.
Feijoada is a Brazilian stew containing black beans, beef and pork that is simmered together in a large pot over low heat for several hours.
- Black beans, dry - 1 lb.
- Olive oil - 4 tbsp
- Pork shoulder - 1 lb.
- Carne seca, cut into chunks - 1 lb.
- Chorizo - ½ lb.
- Smoked sausage - 1 lb.
- Bay leaves - 4
- Kosher salt - to taste
- White onions (sliced) - 2
- Garlic (diced) - 1 head
- In a pot large enough, submerge the black beans in boiling water. Set aside in the hot water and let soak while you prepare the other ingredients.
- On medium-high, heat the olive oil in a large pot. Brown the pork shoulder on both sides and set it aside, removing it from the pot.
- Back in the same bot as before, add the onions and cook until beginning to char. Add some salt and the garlic. Sautee for 3 minutes.
- Put the pork shoulder back in the large pot along with all the other meats. Add in bay leaves and submerge all contents in water. Cover and simmer for an hour and a half.
- Check after 1.5 hours to see if seasonings need to be adjusted. Remove beans from where they have been soaking and add to the pot. Continue simmering for up to 4 more hours.
- Your stew is ready once the meat begins to fall from the bones– a total cooking time of around 5 to 5.5 hours. Serve with rice and sauteed collard greens.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 748Total Fat: 53gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 163mgSodium: 940mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 48g
Nutrition is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. It is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimation.