Feijoada Bean Casserole Stew from Brazil

Feijoada bean casserole stew from Brazil, rich in smokey ribs and flavor-enhanced with pancetta, is a traditional slow-cooked dish that has gained international acclaim.

Beef or pork ribs, chorizo sausage, a base of black beans – just lifting the lid of the Le Creuset releases a multi-hued mix of aromas that bring back memories of bright days and colorful times in Sao Paolo.

I look on feijoada as the Brazilian equivalent of Spain’s paella:

  • The dish is a national gastronomic icon.
  • Each area has its own variations.
  • Each town is persuaded that it alone has the true secret of perfection.

Feijoada Bean Casserole Stew – Smokey Meats and Rich Gravy

Abuelo is my best critic here. 7 years in Brazil gave him more than just a perfect command of Portuguese as another in his language range. It also gave him an appreciation of the flavorsome foods and tasty combinations that abound there.

So long as I prepare this just as I have it written here, he is happy that this is as close to a smokey feijoada as a bean stew not made in Brazil can be.

What Beans Do I Use for Feijoada?

The traditional beans for feijoada are the small black beans – frijoles negros or alubias negras.
I have used:
º Black beans alone.
º Black beans in combination with the larger white beans, alubias blancas, which I think America calls navy beans.
º A mixture of black and pinto beans.
º Pinto beans alone. (Pinto beans are widely used in the States and in Mexico.)

The Abuelo rating is that there must be a good proportion of black beans to produce the fine edge of taste he expects.

Feijoada – Note about soaking the beans

º I use dried beans and quick soak them. I guess you could use tinned beans, but I have never done so.
º With the black beans, don’t be bothered by the black color in the water that drains off. It is natural.
More about soaking and cooking beans

Serve the feijoada with rice or potatoes.

Thanks to Tikko Maciel for a beautifully atmospheric photo in Brazil.

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