Feijoada, often called the national dish of Brazil, is a warming and hearty dish, perfect for feeding a crowd. This no fuss stew can be left to its own devices as it bubbles away on your hob. It’s even better the next day – as its rich and smoky flavours have had the chance to infuse overnight. Serve with slices of orange for a burst of freshness to cut through the richness of this dish, long grain rice, spring greens and, if you like, a sprinkle of farofa.
Traditionally made with smoked sausage, dried beef and the bits from a pig that people often throw away - trotters, ears, heart - it is now common to see this recipe made with meats more easy to buy in a supermarket. We have used a touch of hickory liquid smoke to bring the smoky flavours that you would get from the smoked sausages (Linguiça & Chouriço) that are used in Brazil.
The history of Feijoada has been widely discussed over the years, with many believing that it originates from the 16th Century. It was thought that slaves would have only had access to the trotters and tails that their masters had rejected. However, it is now more widely believed that Feijoada was derived from Portugal, with influences from European dishes such as cassoulet, that has resulted in the creation of this stew.
Feijoada Ingredients Serves: 8
- 500g black beans, soaked overnight
- 500g free range pork belly slices, cut into 5cm chunks
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil, divided
- 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 200g smoked chorizo, cut into 5cm chunks
- 200g smoked lardons
- 2 onions, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tsp hickory liquid smoke
- 2 tsp Sherry Vinegar
- ½ tsp sugar
Method for Making Feijoada
- Add the beans and soaking water to a saucepan. Top up the soaking water to 1 inch above the beans and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes or until the beans have softened but still have a slight bite to them. Add more water if needed, keeping the beans covered.
- Meanwhile, mix the pork belly with 1 tsp salt and 1 tbsp of oil and heat a large Dutch oven or casserole dish on a high heat with 1 tbsp of oil. When the pan is hot, sear the pork belly and remove to a plate. In the same pan, using more oil if needed, repeat with the chorizo and the lardons and remove to the same plate. Reduce to medium heat and fry the onions and garlic for 6-8 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
- When the beans are ready, add the beans, their cooking liquid, 1/2 tsp salt and the meat into the casserole dish with the onion, garlic and bay leaves. Top up with water to cover, if needed.
- Simmer on a low heat for 3 hours with the lid on or until the pork belly starts to fall apart. Check regularly and top up with water if you need in order to keep everything covered.
- For the last 15 minutes, remove the lid and reduce until the sauce thickens to a creamy consistency. Five minutes before the end of cooking add the liquid smoke, sherry vinegar, sugar and salt to taste.
If you want to explore more delicious Brazilian food, you've got to learn about the Brazilian staple ingredient, cassava flour. Read our guide here.