Feijoada, Brazilian soul-food


Just watching this traditional Brazilian Feijoada being prepared was a feast in itself. A delicious example of nourishing, “made from scratch” slow food.
It takes time to prepare and it’s meant to be savoured as a family meal on a Sunday afternoon.

Claudia is the chef/owner of Brazilian street food cafe Amazonas, recently opened on the ever changing and wonderfully diverse Clifton street. She invited me over one Sunday morning to watch her cook Feijoada with her mum Maria – who she learned the recipe from.

Feijoada is an old dish, brought to Portugal by the Romans, – a typical ‘peasants food’ it’s made with leftover cuts of meat and black beans (a stable of Brazilian cuisine), which give the dish a rich dark purple colour.

2kg Black beans soaked in water overnight and boiled for 1 hour.
500g Diced pork (pork belly, smoked and unsmoked bacon)
1 chillie
500g chorizo
500g Brazilian calabresa
1 bulb of garlic (minced?)
2-3 bay leaves
2 onions, diced
2 tomatoes diced
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp fresh parsley finely diced
250 ml white wine,
3 tbsp tomato paste
500g rump cap full fat
1 orange

‘The flavour is on the burnt sides of a pot-says Claudia’

Add olive oil, add pork and brown it in a pot. Then add chilli. Add chorizo and Brazilian calabresa. Stir it it until brown. Juices should start coming out. Add garlic and bay leaves. Stir it. Burn it a bit. It is important to fry meat in a big pot where you’ll be adding ingredients to make the stew as the flavour sticks to the sides of the pot. Add onions and fry. Then add tomatoes, paprika, parsley and keep stirring. Add white wine, tomato paste and rump cap. After beans are cooked add them to the main pot with all the liquid, but do it slowly. Let the liquid reduce and become thicker consistency. The total time of cooking the stew is about 2-2,5 hours. Take chilli and bay leaves out. Put a whole orange 15 minutes before serving.

It is served with rice and slices of orange.

Leave a Reply