Feijoada, Brazilian Black Bean Stew

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A good stew of black beans and mixed meat that is often called the national dish of Brazil.

Feijoada Brazilian Black Bean Stew

Hank introduced me to this Brazilian black bean stew a couple of months ago and couldn't stop eating it. It is outstanding. And perfect for the cold weather we are having these days. ~ Elise

This is another one of those big, hearty meat and bean stews that seem to be the national dish of one country or another. In this case, the country is Brazil and the stew is feijoada (fay-ZHWA-dah).

The feijoada has as many versions as cooks, but in Brazil it almost always has black beans and always has a mix of salty, smoked, and fresh meats.

Some versions are a little spicy of the sausages, others totally soft. Some people's feijoada are thick versions of "eat with a fork," others, like this one, more like a traditional stew.

Either way, it's traditional to serve this stew with white rice and perhaps some sautéed cabbage leaves.

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A common ingredient is dried meat, a salty and dried meat often available in Latin markets. Corned beef is a decent substitute for dried meat, and it's what we use here in this recipe.

As for the other meats, they should be a mixture of pork and beef, with a little more weight in the pork. The authentic feijoada has all kinds of pieces, such as tails, trotters, ears, etc. This version, however, adheres to the type of meats found in a typical American supermarket.

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Feijoada, recipe for Brazilian black bean stew

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes.
  • Cook time: 5 hours
  • Yield: serves from 10 to 12

Black beans are a must in this recipe if you want it to be authentically Brazilian. However, a Portuguese version uses white beans.


  • 1 pound (450 grams) dried black beans
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound (450 grams) of pork shoulder, cut into pieces
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 pound (450 grams) beef jerky or corned beef, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 pound (225 grams) of fresh sausages, such as chorizo ​​or Italian sausage
  • 1 pound (450 g) smoked sausage, such as linguica or kielbasa
  • 1 smoked ham or leg
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • Water
  • 1 14.5-ounce can (411 grams) crushed tomatoes
  • Salt


1 Soak the beans in hot water: Pour boiling water over the black beans and let them steep while you prepare the rest of the stew.

2 Brown pork shoulder: Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and brown the pork shoulder. When the meat is browned, remove the meat from the pot, set aside.

3 Brown the onions, add the garlic: Add the onions to the pot. Brown them, stirring occasionally, scraping off any golden pieces from the bottom of the pot.

Sprinkle a little salt on the onions and add the garlic. Stir well and sauté 2 more minutes.

4 Add meat, bay leaves, cover with water, simmer: Add the pork shoulder and the other meats again and add enough water to cover. Add the bay leaves, cover, and simmer. Cook gently for 1 hour.

5 Add soaked black beans, simmer: Drain the black beans from their soaking liquid and add them to the stew. Simmer, covered, until the beans are tender, about an hour and a half.

6 Add tomatoes and simmer: Add the tomatoes, stir well, and taste the salt, adding if necessary. Simmer, uncovered, until the meat begins to fall off the ham hock, which will probably take 2-3 hours.

Serve with white rice and hot sauce. A classic garnish would be sauteed kale.

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