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Feijoada Completa

Feijoada Completa
By Steve Mandel

Brazil

a bowl of feijoada completa

Feijoada Completa is the undisputed national dish of Brazil. It is a bean stew with rice and pork meat. Different ingredients are used in different parts of Brazil, but usually include “farofa” (mandioca, a root from the rainforest), mixed with maize flour and oil.

The origin of the feijoada runs back to the sixteenth century with the introduction of African slaves in Brazil. Others argue that the black bean stew is instead a Brazilian variation of European fare like the French "cassoulet"and the Portuguese "caldeirada." Whatever its origin, feijoada stands as an important symbol of Brazilian heritage.

Originally feijoada was made using every part of the pig, such as ears, tails, and nose floating among the beans. As this upsets tourists, a version of it is often made using only the fine meat parts of the pig.

Because of the “heavy” consistence of the famous dish, Brazilians believe that drinking some caipirinha helps reduce the unhealthy effects. Otherwise, the recommended activity after this culinary treat is a nap.

Feijoada Restaurants

In São Paulo, restaurants typically serve feijoada on Wednesdays and Saturdays. In Rio de Janeiro, it appears on the menu on Fridays and Saturdays. Some establishments specialize in feijoada seven-days a week. On my trip to Rio, I found that many restaurants had already depleted their batch of the sublime dish for the day

Included here is one version of a traditional feijoada recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. black beans
  • 1 lb. smoked ham hocks
  • 1 of each: pork foot, ear, tail, tongue (optional)
  • 1 lb. Mexican "chorizo" or Brazilian "linguica"
  • ½ lb. Chunk of lean Canadian bacon or
    Brazilian "carne seca"
  • ½ lb. Smoked pork or beef ribs
  • 3-4 strips of smoked bacon
  • ½ lb. lean pork
  • ½ lb. lean beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper
  • hot sauce (optional)

How to prepare feijoada::

Soak beans overnight in large container. Next morning, cook beans for 4-5 hours at low heat. Place ham hocks, chorizo, ribs and Canadian bacon in deep pan with plenty of water and bring to a boil. Change water and bring to a new boil, repeating the procedure at least three times to tenderize cured meats and remove excess fat.

In a large frying pan saut‚ onion and garlic using either vegetable or olive oil (smoked bacon strips optional) for two or three minutes. Toss in cubed pork and beef. Saut‚ an additional two-three minutes.

Mash 5-l0 tablespoons of beans and add to large pot. The resulting paste will thicken sauce. Add two tablespoons of olive oil, three garlic cloves all chopped-up or mashed, along with a tablespoon of white vinegar and a teaspoon of red-hot pepper. Stir, heat over medium fire for two-three minutes, then transfer to contents of frying pan.

Let simmer for l0-l5 minutes. Add contents of frying pan to the beans and let boil at medium heat for 1-2 hours.

Serve over white rice, with additional red-hot sauce, if desired.

Care to Share?
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to Audrey.

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Hi Audrey,

Love your lamb shanks.

--- Paul, Scottsdale AZ

Haven't been called Tad for . . .gee, maybe I've NEVER been called Tad . . . guess I'm the only one with chutzpah enough to mention Bourdain. BRILLIANT?

--- Ken, Shutesbury, MA

I think we must have had an entirely different experience in the UK. (Fresh Food and Real Ale – week 1). We were up in Edinburgh and they served something called ‘Neeps & Tatties.’ The items were boiled so long that I couldn’t even recognize what I was eating. Come to think of it… I couldn’t taste them either. Later I found that Neeps’ are Turnips and ‘Tatties’ are potatoes.

--- Lindy, Phoenix, AZ

My mouth was watering as I read some of your descriptions of the fantastic fare of ... England? I had always felt smug about the lowly reputation of British cuisine as this gave us at least one country with a worse culinary reputation than America's. I guess I'll have to change my views. Your article made me actually want to take a CULINARY tour of Britain. Yummy yummy yummy.

--- Sandy Miner, Portland, OR

Thanks for your note. Thanks to Traveling Boy I get to interview a world famous chef this week who is widely recognized as spearheading the Yummy movement in Ireland. Guess I'll have to take yet another culinary tour a little further north and check it out... (I love my job!) --- Audrey

Very interesting, mouth-watering piece by Audrey! (A McDreamy McMeel). Your web site is fascinating!

--- Susie, Victoria, BC

Combining travel, food, and intelligent advice -- BRILLIANT! Your site fills a long-felt need for hungry roamers. Keep it up! It's Anthony Bourdain with reservations and CLASS.

--- Tad, Boston, MA


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