Culinary Director of Brazilian Steakhouse Texas de Brazil Evandro Caregnato presents feijoada, the national dish of Brazil.
Brought to South America by the Portuguese, feijoada is a flavorful stew of beans, beef and pork. In Brazil, feijoada is traditionally served with rice, and accompanied by chopped collard greens (couve mineira), lightly roasted coarse cassava flour (farofa), and a peeled and sliced orange.
Feijoada was created many years ago when slave owners took the good parts of the beef and cow for themselves and left the rest to their slaves who would use the leftover meats to create a stew. Over time the recipe evolved and now it is considered the national dish, with lower and upper classes alike enjoying it as a part of their tradition.
Below is a suggested recipe, but feijoada can be made with any pork or beef cuts/parts.
2 lb. black beans
1/2 lb. smoked bacon
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 lb. hard-cured chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
1 lb. beef sirloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 bay leaves
1 small fresh chile pepper, chopped
1. In a large saucepan, soak beans in cold water to cover by 3 inches for 8 hours or overnight. Drain before using in recipe.
2. In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, cook bacon in oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and beef and cook until nicely colored. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
3. Add 8 cups of water, drained beans, bay leaves, and chile pepper. Simmer the beans for about 45 minutes, or until they are soft and the sauce is thick. Salt to taste.