Thursday, March 4, 2010

Feijoada: A Brazilian National Dish

Feijoada is a type of Bean Stew original from Portugal that is also found in Angola, Brazil and other former Portuguese colonies. It can be made with different types of meat and beans. The name comes from feij√£o, Portuguese for "beans". In Brazil, the fusion of African and local cuisine, resulted in the famous Brazilian feijoada. An icon of Brazilian cuisine known internationally. Feijoada is the kind of comfort food that brings people together in Brazil. Feijoada lunches can be an all day event involving dancing and lots of fun conversations.

The traditional Brazilian feijoada is prepared with black beans and a variety of salted pork products, such as salted trimmings (ears, tail and feet), bacon and sausage. However, I am not a fan of fatty meats, so I created a slow cooker lean feijoada recipe. The result is an effortless dish that is also healthier and flavorsome.  

In Brazil, feijoada is often enjoyed with family and friends paired with various side dishes and caiprinhas cocktails or beer.  Some of these side dishes are collard greens, rice, peeled oranges and a pepper sauce.

This stew is easy to prepare and it is very economical. You can make a large amount of feijoada with a few low cost ingredients. 

 Brazilian Feijoada:

1 ¼ cups of chicken stock
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb of pork tenderloin OR pork loin
1 (8oz) skinless smoked sausage, sliced
¼ teaspoon of ground cumin
2 dried bay leaves
2 (15oz) cans of Black beans, not seasoned
1 slice of hickory smoked bacon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cooked rice, for serving

Trim excessive fat from pork tenderloin and cut it into 1 inch pieces. Lightly season meat with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Layer the sausage and pork meat in a 4 to 5 quart slow cooker. Sprinkle ground cumin, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour beans and chicken stock over the top. Add the bay leaves and bacon.

Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or until meat is tender. Remove bay leaves before serving. If you like, remove and discard the bacon slice too. Leftovers can be refrigerated for one week.

Serves 8.

Collard Greens

1 lb of fresh collard greens, thin sliced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large sauce pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute garlic for about 3 minutes and stir in collard greens. Work in batches if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Cook it covered over medium low heat for about 7 to 10 minutes or until tender. Serve immediately.

Serves 8.

Pepper Sauce

¼ cup of roasted peppers, chopped
1/8 cup of jalapeno peppers (or any other hot pepper), chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
1/8 cup onion, chopped
1 ½ tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
¾ cup of olive oil
1 dry bay leave
¼ teaspoon of paprika
Ground cayenne pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste

In a bowl mix all ingredients together and refrigerate overnight. Remove and discard the bay leave before serving.


  1. I love feijoada! But usually it is a very heavy food. I want to try this receipt!

  2. I agree with you, it can be a heavy dish, so I developed a recipe for a lighter feijoada. I hope you enjoy it!

  3. Wow! That looks amazing! I can't wait to try this!

  4. oh my! i want some--------