Pronounced “fey-zhoo-ah-dah”, it is Brazil's national dish. A hearty stew of black beans with a myriad of pork, topped with a variety of garnishes.
- 1 lb of smoked bacon, diced
- 3 small onions, chopped
- 5-6 green onions, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 12-16 oz of smoked kielbasa, sliced into discs
- 2 lbs of ham, diced
- 3 cups of black beans, rinsed and soaked
- 1/2 tsp of coriander
- 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar
- 1 smoked pork hock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Set up a large stock pot on medium-high heat.
- When the pan is hot, place the smoked bacon in and cook until the meat is crispy and fat is rendered liquid.
- Remove the bacon and set aside.
- Place the onions and garlic into the fat, and cook until soft and fragrant.
- Add back in the bacon with the kielbasa and ham.
- Stir and continue cooking for a few minutes.
- Mix in the beans and season the stew with the coriander, cayenne pepper, cumin, and bay leaves.
- Add enough water to the pot to submerge everything by 2 inches.
- Tuck the smoked pork hock under the water.
- Bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat.
- Simmer the stew for two hours, stirring occasionally.
- Carefully remove the pork hock from the stew, and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
- Remove all the meat from the pork hock, cut it up into small pieces, and add it back into the stew.
- Season the stew with salt and pepper, then simmer for ten more minutes.
You likely will not need to add any oil to the initial sauté, as the rendered bacon fat will do the job. However, if your pot seems dry after cooking the bacon, add in some oil before the onions and garlic.
If you're using dried beans, be sure to fully rinse and soak the beans beforehand. Place them in a bowl and cover them with cold water, leaving them to soak for 6-8 hours.
When removing the pork hock from the stew, be careful, as it can easily fall apart.
The choices of pork are completely up to you. I've seen many recipes using pork loin, pork chops, andouille sausage, pork shoulder, Brazilian chorizo, and pork ribs. The only common factor is to use pork.
While black beans are tradition, I've seen many recipes using kidney beans, or combinations.
The tradition of feijoada isn't just about the stew, but also the various side dishes and garnishes you can serve with it. The primary staple is rice, which you can use simple white rice, or go Brazilian by adding garlic and onion to the rice as you cook it. You definitely do not want to serve feijoada without the rice.
In terms of side dishes, here's a handful of suggestions:
- Farofa: toasted casava flour used as a thickener
- Sauteed collard or kale greens
- Citrus fruits such as orange (great palette cleanser)
- Fried casava, bananas, and/or plantains
- Crispy fried pork skins, which act almost like croutons.
- Hot sauce