Many things might identify the culture of a country, like its language, arts, and of course a country’s cuisine defines it very well. Brazilian cuisine is distinguished by the unique accessibility of a variety of tropical ingredients, that locals use to create their tasteful dishes. From the exotic papayas, mangos, guavas, pineapples, among a vast variety of fruits use on the Brazilian dishes to the use of rice and beans are a key ingredients to complement tasteful dishes.
The Brazilian feijoada is the national dish and staple dish of the Rio de Janeiro region, a stew made of black beans ( feijão meaning beans in Portugues) accompanied by meats and pork and in some regions with vegetables like chayote, kale, okra, pumpkins and sometimes bananas.
This dish is costumery to be served with rice and oranges
- 2 pounds dried black turtle beans, picked through and rinsed
- 1 pound salt cured beef, such as carne seca or corned beef
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound salt pork, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 serrano pepper, halved
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pound smoked ham hocks
- 1 pound linguica or Spanish chorizo sausage, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 pound pork ribs, separated into individual ribs
- 1 pound beef stew meat, top round or chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
- hot sauce
- 2 oranges, peeled and cut in segments
- collard greens, recipe follows shopping list
- cooked white rice, for serving
- Starting a day ahead, place the dried beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water; soak the beans overnight in the refrigerator. In a separate bowl, soak the salt cured beef in cool water to cover to tenderize the meat, do this overnight also but change the water a couple of times. Drain the beans and carne seca; cut up the cured beef into chunks.
- Coat a large heavy pot with the oil and place over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the salt pork, onions, garlic, pepper, and bay leaves. Cook and stir for 5 minutes to render out the pork fat and soften the vegetables. Add the ham hocks, sausage, ribs, cubed beef, carne seca, and black beans. Cover with just enough cold water to cover (about 21/2 quarts). Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce to medium-low heat, cover, and simmer for 2 hours, stirring now and again. Skim any foam that rises to the surface during cooking and add more water if necessary to keep the ingredients covered during cooking.
- Dig the ham hocks out of the pot, discard the rind and fat, shred the meat, and return the ham to the pot. The beans should be really tender, like they are almost bursting. Mash about 1 cup of the beans against the side of the pot to cream them out. Give the stew a good stir, taste and check for seasoning.
- To serve, ladle some of the bean broth into shot glasses or little cups, add a dash of hot pepper sauce and drink – this is traditionally done to get the palate prepared for the feijoada. Serve feijoada in large wide bowls, garnished with orange segments and accompanied by collard greens and white rice.