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Brazilian Pork & Black Bean Stew: Feijoada

What's the big idea?

Feijoada is undoubtedly Brazil's national dish, and reflects something of the country's history. The story goes that the African slaves picked up a recipe for black bean stew from the native South American indians, and then added whatever left-over scraps of pork they could find. Traditionally, the stew therefore includes pigs' trotters, ears, tails etc.
This simplified version of the stew may not be authentic, but it is a close approximation, includes readily available ingredients, and is easy to prepare.
Serve with plain boiled rice.

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 2 x 400g tins black beans*
  • 1lb pork sausages - we recommend using half "normal" sausages and half something spicier such as chorizo
  • 2 red chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1lb pork meat, such as tenderloin
  • 6-8 rashers bacon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt to taste
  • Hot chilli sauce such as tabasco
*If tinned black beans are not available, dried ones can be used, but need to be soaked overnight and then boiled for at least two hours.
Alternatively, although not authentic, use other types of canned beans, as long as they are not in a sauce.

There are many variations to this dish. Many include dried salted beef or pork, and/or spare ribs in addition to the meats listed here.

What To Do

  • Cut the meat and sausages into "chunks" - between 1-2 inch cubes. Chop up the bacon
  • Heat half the oil in a large frying pan or wok and fry all the meat until cooked. Set aside
  • Add the remaining oil to the pan. Fry the onions and garlic until golden. Add the herbs and beans
  • Cook for about 10-15 minutes over a medium heat
  • Add the meat to the pan and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes
  • Season with salt and chilli sauce to taste

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