recipe

Feijoada: a delicious, hearty Brazilian black bean stew recipe

Total time: 5H 30
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 10 people
By Cookist
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When the weather starts to dip, there's nothing like a hearty bowl of Brazilian feijoada to keep the cold at bay. Feijoada is a richly flavored black bean and pork stew that's considered one of Brazil's national dishes and is a popular comfort dish to enjoy as a family. It's often served on Wednesdays or Saturdays, or for celebrations.

Feijoada is slow-cooked, which allows the incredible flavors to merge to make an amazing dish that will make your mouth water. Feijoada is usually served with white rice, collard greens, and orange slices, which are said to help with digestion. It's a perfect recipe to make when you want to cook a hearty, flavorful stew to nourish your body and soul.

What is Feijoada?

Pronounced “fay-jwa-da,” feijoada is a phenomenal pork and bean stew that comes from Brazil. It contains various fresh and smoked sausages, which help give this sensational stew a richer, more complex flavor. Some versions also use beef.

There are many regional variations on feijoada. Northern Brazil has more African and indigenous influences, while feijoada in southern Brazil sees a more Italian and German take on the dish. In Bahia and Sergipe, feijoada is made with brown or red beans instead of black beans and often has more veggies added to it. Plantains, carrots, squash, and potatoes are a few common additions to Bahian feijoada. Various parts of the country will use different cuts of meat. You'll find feijoada made from beef, salted pork, pig ears, tails, trotters, sausages, and jerky.

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Feijoada Origins

This type of meat stew has ancient roots – the Romans made similar meat and beans stews which were the progenitor of famous European dishes like cassoulet, fabada, and cassoeula. Black beans are a New World crop, native to the Americas and a staple in Latin American cuisine.

The name feijoada comes from the Portuguese word for beans, feijão. The dish itself was common in Portugal. When the Portuguese arrived in Brazil, the feijoada took on a new life where African and indigenous influences made their way into the dish.

Feijoada Ingredients

Black beans are the most common beans for making feijoada, although certain regions use other types of beans.

Different types of meats can be used for feijoada. This version calls for pork shoulder, ham hock, carne seca (you can also use corned beef), and various sausages. Fresh chorizo or Italian sausage are perfect for making feijoada. For the smoked sausages, try kielbasa or linguica.

To season the stew, you'll need bay leaves, garlic, and onions.

Tomatoes round out the stew, giving it a tasty brightness.

How to Make Feijoada

Ready to make authentic homemade feijoada? Here's everything you need to know about how to make this phenomenal Brazilian stew. Start by soaking your black beans. Set them aside while you cook the other parts of the stew.

Brown the pork shoulder in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Make sure to brown each side of the shoulder – this will contribute loads of flavor to your feijoada. Once browned, take the pork shoulder out of the pot and put it on a plate. Next, sauté the onions until browned. Stir in the garlic and cook it until fragrant. Put all of the meat – the pork shoulder, fresh sausages, smoked sausages, carne seca, and ham hock in the pot.

Cover the meat with water, then put the bay leaves into the pot. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and simmer the stew for 1 hour. Drain the black beans and add them to the stew. Cook the stew for another 30 minutes or until the beans are tender. Add in the tomatoes.

Cook the stew for 2 to 3 more hours, or until the meat from the ham hock falls off the bone. Serve your feijoada with rice, collard greens, and orange slices, and enjoy!

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Tips for Making Brazilian Feijoada

While you can soak the beans while you prepare the rest of the stew, it's better to soak them longer, preferably overnight. This will ensure your beans get nice and tender.

You can make your feijoada in a slow cooker. Cook it on high for 6 to 7 hours or low for 8 to 9 hours.

What to Serve with Traditional Feijoada

Typically, feijoada is served with white rice, collard greens, farofa (toasted cassava flour), hot sauce, and orange slices. Some folks also eat it with fried bananas. For a low-carb option, use cauliflower rice instead of white rice.

How to Store and Reheat Feijoada

Once cooled, you can transfer any leftover feijoada to an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat your feijoada on the stovetop until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165F. For longer storage, you can freeze your feijoada for up to 3 months.

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Ingredients
dry black beans
1 pound
Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup
Pork shoulder
1 pound
large onions, sliced
2
garlic, peeled and chopped
1 head
carne seca or corned beef, cut into chunks
1 pound
Fresh sausage
1/2 pound
smoked sausage
1 pound
smoked ham hock
1
Bay
3 to 4 leaves
Crushed tomatoes
1 14.5-ounce can
salt to taste

Instructions

Soak the black beans in water. Set aside.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Place the pork shoulder in the pot and brown on each side.

Take the meat out and set it on a plate.

Put the onions in the pot. Season with salt, and sauté until brown. Add in the garlic and cook for 60 to 90 seconds, until fragrant.

Put the pork shoulder in the pot.

Add carne seca, fresh sausages, smoked sausages, and ham hock.

Add the bay leaves.

Pour in water to cover the meat.

Put the lid on the pot.

Gently simmer for 1 hour.

Drain the black beans. Add them to the Dutch oven. Cook for 30 minutes or until the beans are tender.

Stir in the tomatoes. Season with salt.

Cook for 2 to 3 more hours, or until the meat from the ham hock falls off the bone.

Serve and enjoy!

Notes

You can use fresh tomatoes if you prefer.

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