Everything seems to be going “Brazilian” nowadays. The Brazilian cut, the Brazilian Chop, THE infamous “Brazilian”, the soccer, the girls, the beaches, the carnivals…I can go on and on. You mention Brazil and the word exotic comes to mind.
What makes them so awesome?
I think it’s the eclectic mix of cultures in Brazil that adds to the “flavour” of that awesomeness.
Oh wait, I forgot the food… and the coffee!
I can’t take you to Brazil but I can introduce you to Feijoada (a bean and pork stew) and its rich, sumptuous flavours.
It is Brazil’s national dish. It was first made by the slave cooks about 300 years ago. They used parts of meats that were not acceptable at the master’s table, chopped it all up, mixed in some beans and created this flavoursome stew. Today it’s served in the elitist of homes and choice cuts of meat are used. You will still find many people using the pig’s ears and feet though.
I have used only pork loin and short ribs with the smoked chourico and blood sausage. If you can’t get hold of these, try replacing it with cabanossi or other smoked meat. The true recipe calls for a few pieces of beef as well as some cabbage. I have not included these in this recipe.
Because the sauces are so rich, it is best served with some rice. I like to cook stews in a cast iron pot ( that’s the South African influence), because it retains the heat for longer, but any pot will do I guess.
Feijoada is one of those dishes that I got raised on and now also one of my husband’s favourites. It is a robust stew, so it is mostly cooked in the winter.
Getting back to Brazilian awesomeness…. I think that’s why this Feijoada is so mouth- watering…..it’s the mix of ingredients from many cultures. The harmony of the smoked meats, pork and beans with very few spices brings out their true unique flavour.
2 Tsp minced garlic
1 small onion finely chopped
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
3 large bay leaves
1 tin tomato puree
1 chourico sliced into 2cm pieces
1 blood sausage sliced into 2cm pieces
2 large carrots thinly sliced
2 glasses of wine
Approximately 500g diced pork pieces
1 tin red kidney beans
1 tin red sugar beans
1 tin butter beans
In a pot, saute the onion and garlic in enough olive oil. Add the vinegar and bay leaves and stir.
Add the pork to the sauteed mix and fry for about 5 minutes.
Add the carrots, chourico and blood sausage and mix it in.
Now mix in the tomato puree and add the wine. Add the salt.
Turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until pork is cooked and tender.
Add the beans and gently fold into the stew. Do not over stir or the beans will turn to mash.
Leave on the stove for another 15 minutes so the beans can soak up the flavours of the meats.
As with most stews, the longer you let it stand the thicker the sauces and the better it tastes.
I will have a traditional treat for dessert in my next post and also a Brazilian cocktail recipe for disaster…..if you have too many!