Our friend Tuany‘s mom, Rita, came to visit from Brazil and while she was here, we got to cook an old-fashioned feijoada together! Feijoada is a famous beans-and-meat dish of Portuguese origin. It’s similar to several old-world bean stews like French cassoulet and Spanish fabada. In Brazil, it’s usually made with black beans along with lots of sausages, cured meats, and sometimes ham hocks, pigs’ feet, ribs, and/or beef tongue. Collard greens — couve — are the green vegetable.
Almost any smoked pork or beef sausage will work here and it’s nice if you get a medley of two or three or more varieties. Cut the sausage links into different shapes or sizes so you can differentiate them at the end. We used linguiça and paio.
Linguiça I think is a fairly well-known sausage by now — coarsely ground, heavily paprika-ed, similar to Spanish chorizo — but the paio was something I had never seen before! The texture reminded me of a salted country ham with big, lean chunks of meat inside the casing. It was really good. Worth hunting down, I think.
We also used a package of “feijoada mix” which is odds and ends of bacon and sausages. If you can’t get that, some salt pork or thick-cut bacon will do fine.
But, the word comes from feijão, Portuguese for “beans” . . . Never forget that! Ultimately, the beans are the namesake ingredient so if you don’t have a Brazilian market nearby, something like kiolbassa, andouille or Spanish (dried) chorizo will do just fine. Get whatever sausages you like and get on with it.
You might notice there is no salt added in the bean and meat pot. That’s because there is so much salt in the sausages and bacon. Before you serve, taste the bean broth to make sure it’s salty enough.
Sliced oranges are served alongside to aid digestion. And a seasoned, toasted tapioca flour topping called farofa is usually served on top of the rice and beans. I have linked below to some of these ingredients on Amazon if you’d like to try them and can’t find them locally.
Feijoada has a reputation for being an ordeal, but it’s not so bad. It takes about 3 hours start to finish, but a lot of that time is just sort of waiting for beans to cook so it gives you plenty of time to hang out. There are many dirty dishes at the end, but surely someone at your party likes to wash dishes, right?
If you like, make some pão de queijo (cheese bread!) to keep small children at bay while you cook. And for dessert, try brigadeiro (chocolate candy) because you can make it the day before so that’s easy!
Making feijoada with Rita (Video)
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- 1 pound black beans
- 24 ounces mixed, smoked sausages (see notes above) sliced
- 12 ounces “feijoada mix” or salt pork, optional
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 2 cups parboiled white rice
- 1–2 cubes chicken bouillon
- 6 cups hot water, divided
- 2 bunches collard greens
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillion
- Farofa (toasted tapioca flour)
- peeled, sliced oranges
Soak the beans for 12 hours in enough water to cover them. Drain. Add to a large pot with about 8 cups water. Cover and bring to boil.
Meanwhile, start the rice. Put rice into a medium-large pot with bouillon and 4 cups of hot water. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce to medium and let it simmer uncovered. Stir occasionally and add hot water as needed. Cook this way for about 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Let simmer 5 more minutes until the liquid has evaporated. Cover and set aside.
Once the beans have come to a boil, boil for 30-40 minutes or until softened. Add the meat. Cook another 30 minutes or until the beans are tender.
In a small pot, saute the onion, garlic and cilantro in the oil for a minute until the onion is fragrant. Add about a cup of the bean-cooking liquid and boil. Turn off heat and let cool.
Begin the collard greens. Wash and remove the stem from each leaf. Stack 4-5 leaves, roll them into a “cigar” and thinly slice to make chiffonade. Repeat with all the greens. Put into a large pot, cover with water, and bring to boil over high heat. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until dark green.
Once the onion/bean water mix has cooled a little, puree it in the blender. Be careful blending hot liquids. Pour this back into the bean pot and stir. Cook the beans another 30-45 minutes or until the liquid has thickened and become cloudy as the beans break up.
Finish the collard greens: Drain cooked greens in a colander. Saute the garlic and bouillon in a little oil until golden and smelling good. Add greens and stir to coat them. Turn off heat and cover. Set aside.
When the beans are cooked, serve separate dishes of rice, greens, beans and meat so that everyone makes their own plate. Garnish with farofa and serve orange slices afterwards
Amazon Affiliate Links for Ingredients
The Brazilian food that I’ve had is not spicy. But if you like hot sauces, try one made with Brazilian malagueta chiles, like this one.
Liked the new format.
Thanks, Bill! We want to do more in this style later in the summer.
I am Brazilian living in the UK, this recipe sounds good. Make sure to soak these beans, we do it to eliminate the excess of gases from the beans… otherwise you will eliminate these gases by yourself afterwards. Normally we’d drink ‘caipirinha’ with this meal, it is a cocktail made with cachaça (a sugarcane distilled but different from rum)… it goes very well with feijoada.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a comment on your web site, but I really, really enjoyed your (and Rita’s) feijoada video.
I have tried to make feijoada myself. I was pleased with the results, in spite of the fact that I had to simplify the recipe a bit. With all the different ingredients and accompaniments it really works best if you make enough for a small army. For better or worse I live alone.
A Brazilian restaurant opened recently in my neighborhood on the east side of Cleveland. It’s walking distance from my apartment, but I haven’t checked it out yet. Their on-line menu does advertise feijoada and also xim-xim, which is chicken and peanuts (and sometimes shrimp) in coconut milk. Need to get off of my butt.
Flint appears to be thriving.
It’s true that it is pretty difficult to make feijoada for one, or even for four. Hope you get some at your neighborhood Brazilian place. I will look up the xim-xim recipe. Sounds delicious! I love coconut and peanuts together. There is so much I have learned about Brazilian food since I started looking ?
Woohoo! I have been waiting for this one. Thanks!
Parboiled rice is also known as converted rice, thanks to Uncle Ben.
Coincidently, I’d stopped soaking beans when it became such a fad. But I decided I don’t like the texture of un-soaked beans. Twelve hour soaks just don’t work into my schedule, so I started doing 24 hour soaks and put salt into the water so they’d get some brining. The beans are perfect that way. But then I stumbled onto a method for presoaking beans in an Instant Pot. It takes about 15 minutes (including the 10 minute keep warm step). So now I can have a pot of beans ready in under 40 minutes.
For feijoada, however, I’ll just do the pre-soak in the pressure cooker and then switch to the conventional method. Thanks for the Amazon links!
I ‘m following you a long time and thanks to remembered the Brasil. I really apreciated your recipe. But I youd like help you to give a more similar taste than Brasilian feijoada. I ‘m really sure the taste is great in your recipe, but whith a diferent recipe preparation you will find the target.
We never put the chicken cube in a rice, we make this way if the dish is a risoto or a oven rice. Rice to eat with bean ever time have only cloves of the garlic and oil. (corn or soy oil). The recipe is really simple. In the beans recipe to, never (the brasilian taste don’t apreciated the chichen broth in the beans) add of the chicken, but is necessary put a big onion
We never put the cilantro in the feijoada, whatever in the recipe you will find the little bit of the bay leaf.
I lived in the United States for 3 years so I have the ability to adapt recipes, If you need any help…. Your site is lovelly.
Your way of making feijoada sounds delicious, too. I heard from some one else who is from Sao Paolo that they use parsley instead of cilantro and that cilantro is used in the north, which is where my friends are from.
Does parboiled rice taste any different from white rice? I’m trying to get away from regular old white rice (even though I love it) because 1) parboiled rice has more nutrients and 2) parboiled rice has more resistant starch compared to the glucose bomb that white rice is.
The flavor is the same, but the texture is really fluffy, separate grains. Interesting about the resistant starch. Makes total sense since it’s pre-cooked. And it does seem less sticky/starchy than regular rice
Thank you for this recipe! I grew up in Brazil and the way you described your feijoada took me back to my friend’s house with her mom working away at the stove. YUM. I was on a hunt for a recipe my fiancé and I could use for dinner tonight. Thank you thank you! 🙂 I could get us some at the Brazilian buffet but I’d love to make it myself. Serve it with some hearts of palm and a potato salad. Ugh. I might have to leave work early… 😉
Yay!! I’m so happy, Sara! It was such a fun night when I learned how to make feijoada. Hope you enjoy this recipe!