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Bold cuts of beef and pork are balanced by citrus and tomatoes

Brazilian Black Bean Stew with Pork and Beef (Feijoada)

Appears in March-April 2022

4¼ hours 40 minutes active

Brazilian Black Bean Stew with Pork and Beef (Feijoada)

During a visit to São Paulo, we learned that there are as many versions of Brazilian feijoada as there are cooks who make it, but one thing is constant: It is hearty, soulful fare. Feijoada can be an elaborate celebratory meal made with a dozen or more cuts of pork and beef, each removed from the pot and served individually, buffet-style, along with the stewed beans. It also can be a basic, workaday stew simply ladled into bowls. Ours is more like the latter: a streamlined serve-from-the-pot version, but with rich, slow-cooked flavor. We do, however, skip the hard-to-source meats, such as Brazilian beef jerky and smoked pork ribs, that are included in traditional feijoada. Instead, we use cuts that are easy to find at the supermarket, including bone-in beef short ribs and smoked ham hock, collagen-rich cuts that lend the broth flavor and body. The addition of cachaça, a Brazilian spirit distilled from sugar cane, is a unique touch from Francisco Gameleira, chef at A Figueira Rubaiyat restaurant in São Paulo. We also borrowed his idea to include a little orange juice; these liquids help lift the heftiness with a bit of bright sweetness. Feijoada is commonly served with orange slices or wedges along with “vinagrete,” a salsa-like mixture of chopped tomatoes, onion and herb—both bring welcome color and freshness. Serve the stew with rice and, for a typical Brazilian meal, with sautéed collard greens and farofa, or toasted cassava flour.

8 to 10

Servings

Tip

Don’t bother soaking the beans. Whereas most dried beans need to be soaked prior to cooking so they hydrate evenly and fully tenderize, black beans need only to be rinsed before they’re added to the pot. Also, don’t add any salt to the pot except with the aromatics. The bacon, ham hock and sausages are all well-seasoned cuts that lend salinity to the broth, so it’s best to wait to the end to see if additional salt is needed.

4¼ hours

40 minutes active

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