Mom and I went to Mary’s house to cook feijoada. We shared our culture, ways of chopping collard green, but also learned about family traditions while sharing ours. We sometimes do not notice the lessons we are learning while talking over a simmering pot. Then there are the special ways we slice the meat or stir a pot. I am discovering how much I am like my mother in the kitchen–and that is a wonderful thing!
I kg black beans (2 pounds or so) dried black beans
1 pound carne seca (Brazilian salted cured beef) or use beef for stew salted overnight
1 pound sweet sausage (linguiça when available)
1 pound baby back spareribs
8 ounces salted slab bacon, diced fine
2-3 bay leaves
1 large onion, 1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
cheiro verde (parsley, green onions and cilantro)
Malagueta pepper (can sub with tabasco)
The night before, soak the beans in a large bowl with water to cover at least 3-4 inches. Soak the carne seca in water to cover. Or salt meat if using fresh. The next morning, drain the beans and place in a large pot with bay leaves and with water to cover by at least 3 inches. Bring the beans to a boil in medium heat. Cook until soft.
Option 2: cook beans and bay leaves in the pressure cook until half done.
Meanwhile, cut all the meats about 1-inch to 2 inch pieces. Sauté in oil until brown on all sides.
Add the meats, onions, garlic to almost cooked beans to simmer, stirring from time to time, adding water as necessary to keep beans covered.
Decant a few ladlefuls of the sauce into a separate saucepan and add the Malagueta pepper, onions, cheiro verde (parsley, green onions and cilantro). Heat through and sever separately.
Continue to simmer gently for at least another hour, adding water as necessary. Remove the bay leaves. Some people take the meats out at this point and serve them separately on a platter. We like to leave them in with the beans.
To serve feijoada, put a mound or rice on your plate and place a ladleful or two of feijoada on top or on the side. Arrange oranges and couve around the sides.