#59: Brazil – Feijoada

Sometimes a dish completely surprises me. This was one of those dishes. As I mentioned in my last post, this past weekend I cooked from two completely different sides of the world, making two very different dishes. However, the one thing these dishes had in common was they both required a fairly low number or variety of spices, which made me concerned that they would lack flavor. But this dish, which was heavy on the meat and low on spice was incredibly full of flavor, likely the result of cooking for nearly 3 hours together. But enough of this sexy stew talk…here’s the details!

For my 59th country, I took it to South America, to Brazil, a country that takes up a large chunk of the continent. There were a lot of great options to choose for a dish, but I decided to go with the National Dish: Feijoada. This black bean stew boasts a variety of meats. Traditionally, it uses all the parts of the pig, from the snout to the ribs. The recipe I chose to work off of suggested four different meats. As I’m not a heavy eater, I eliminated one (the pork ribs) and stuck with a chorizo, kielbasa, and bacon. Plus, I used some of the dry beans I had received as a holiday present from my aunt and uncle. Those are the “Midnight Black Bean” from Rancho Gordo (https://www.ranchogordo.com/). Seriously they were great.

In addition to the Feijoada I made farofa to include as a topping as it was listed as one of the ways the stew is served (in addition to orange slices on the side). The whole idea of this dish confused me at first. I had to track down cassava flour (which is made from yuca and gluten-free) and then I “cooked” the flour along with diced bacon, onions, butter and a few other ingredients until it resembles a soft bread crumb like consistency. This. Was. Awesome. If you’re going to make this dish, go the extra step and make farofa as well. Way to surprise me, Brazil!

Here’s the recipe I used for both elements: https://www.curiouscuisiniere.com/feijoada-brazilian-black-bean-stew/.

Overall Level of Effort: 2

Skill Level: Beginner

Would Make It Again? Yes

Additional Notes: This is an incredible dish for a crowd in the winter. I cut the recipe down a bit since it’s just the two of us, using half the beans and obviously we eliminated one of the meat ingredients. But if you’re having a group of people over, by all means make the whole recipe.

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