Ok, so in Brasil there is this dish called feijoada. It is simply delicious!
I must admit, the meats they use there, are not all readily available here i Utah, so I do the best I can with what I can find.
In the plate above starting from 12 o’clock there is rice underneath those beans, farofa (this one I bought at the Mexican market), cheese bread (thank heavens for mixes, I find them at the Mexican market that sells Brazilian stuff), fried bananas (plantain bananas, cut them in half and then slice them about half-inch thick. Melt butter in a non stick frying pan, enough to cover the bottom of the pan, put the bananas in it, they actually change color as they cook, I sprinkle a little sugar on each side, it kind of carmelizes, flip them and serve it warm. As I cook, to keep it warm, I keep it in the oven at 250) and salad (this one had lettuce (a couple of different kinds, cucumber, pomegranate and carrots…I think some celery. And salad dressing to taste. I grew up with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper).
You got to understand, when I make feijoada, because it is yummy and I don’t make it often…I make it a lot. My kids that come home for such dinners take some with them, if there are guests, they also take some home with them and, I like to freeze some if possible. So, I use a big electric roaster to make my pot of feijoada. This recipe is for a large crock pot.
Here is the feijoada
2 hamhocks (it has a bone inside of it, you will find it at your meat department usually not frozen, ask for it if you don’t see it, after it cooks the meat comes off the bone, take the bones out before serving)
1/2 small package of Italian sausage (I use it mild because of my family, however, I love it hot) cut into bite size before cooking
1/2 small steak cut into strips then into bite size (any kind will do, I choose whatever is cheaper, it cooks a lot, it will be tender)
a small portion of any other meat that sounds good (chicken and fish are out)
2 small packages of black beans (I learned a trick from my mom’s cousin, keep your uncooked beans in the freezer and then you don’t need to soak them before you cook it…or…after you have picked through it, there might be pebbles in the beans, put it in a metal bowl and pour boiling water over it and let it sit for a couple of hours, twice as much beans)
1 head of garlic minced (not a clove, the whole head, with lots of cloves in it. If you use the jar garlic, use 2 super full TBSP of that)
1 small onion chopped fine
After soaking or the freezer thing with your beans, wash them well, put them in the pot, cover them with twice the water, so, if 4 cups of beans = 8 cups of water.
Place the hamhock in the crockpot with the beans. The other meats, do cut them into pieces and cook them in a frying pan, so it sears the meat and the flavors, add a little olive oil if needed. then add the meat to the pot. Let it cook in the crockpot on high for 4-6 hours or until the beans are tender.
When the beans are tender, take some out (without juice), put it on a plate and smash it with a fork. In a non stick frying pan, put about 2 TBSP of olive oil, brown the onions, when they are kind of golden, add garlic. Add the beans and 2 TBSP of salt. I know, it sounds like a lot, it isn’t, it is salting the whole pot. Fry it a little bit until everything is mixed and then add it back into the crock pot. Mix it in and let it cook for another 30 minutes on low, just so the flavors are good to go.
This is an extraordinarily rich dish. I love it!
The history behind it is that the slaves would cook the black beans with the leftovers of the pig. So the original dish is made with pig nose, feet, years and other parts that I am not that found of. In Brasil you can find restaurants that have everything in little clay pots and you can put your own feijoada together. And there are restaurants that serve delicious feijoada all together for you.
If you like beans and have the chance of trying feijoada, go for it. It is very tasty!