Technique Thursday: Brazilian Black Bean Feijoada (Pork & Black Bean Stew) – Recipe

Feijoada is Brazil’s stew of choice for lazy Saturdays and potluck Sundays. At it’s absolute best, Feijoada is a massive pool of black beans piled high with a glorious assortment of meat. One plateful will provide enough slow-burning energy for a marathon, although you won’t be able to run after eating it! This is definitely a meal for elastic pants.

Originally, Feijoada was made with pig ears, tails, and feet. Today, this hearty dish is typically made with dried beef (carne seca) and pork meats – usually sausages, like paio, and ribs. According to my Brazilian classmate from high school, “cow tongue is also super popular (and yummy).” Like chili in the USA or Beef Bourguignon in France, there are as many recipes as there are mammas (and papas) cooking.

Serve Feijoada with farofa (manioc flour pan-toasted in butter), sweet orange slices, and white rice. Sauteed kale is a popular side dish too. Although this green is bitter, you’ll be glad you made it because feijoada sends diners begging for veggies to balance out the beans and meat.

Although I was unable to obtain all of the proper ingredients, I gave it my Girl Scout best and believe this version to be a tasty approximation.  I just wish I could travel to Brazil to try the real thing :)

Serves 6


1 rack pork ribs (about 2 lbs)
2 paio sausage (I had to use cured chorizo sausage- 1 large)
1 pork shank bone, smoked (about 1 lb)
Some carne seca, if you can find it.
1 lb dried black beans, soaked according to package instructions
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, halved
water to cover beans


1. Preheat oven to 450F. Place ribs, sausage, and shank bone on a baking sheet. Rub with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in oven until browned, about 40 minutes. Cut up meat (make coins with sausages and separate out each rib)

2. Add bacon to a large pot and brown over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until fragrant and soft.

3. Add meat to pot. Add beans.

Add enough water to cover the beans (but not necessarily the meat – I did this and it was way too much water. You can always add more if you need to)

4. Simmer about 2 hours, or until all ingredients are cooked and soft. Skim the yucky fat and froth every once in a while.

Serve immediately (although I found this to be better the next day)

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  1. John Goodenow says:

    One of my all-time favorite meals, Sasha.

    • globaltable says:

      It was very good, although all that meat was pretty pricey! Good thing we had tons of leftovers to stretch to another day :)

  2. Which feijoada recipe you use makes all the difference in the world. I had so many garbage feijoadas, and then one day I visited a small restaurant in Queens. Here’s what I wrote a few hours later:

    “I’ve never understood why people go crazy over feijoada. Just some beans with a bit of meat thrown in. Malagueta makes it only on Saturday, so today, the first Saturday in living memory I was not hungover, I headed out there and ordered it. Small portion, $15, and worth it. The feijoada came in a clay pot, with a heady smoky flavor and loaded with dried beef and sausage. Somehow the perfect harmony of flavors made it more than just beans. On a separate plate, crunchy collard greens and farofa, both so delicious I ate most of them plain without mixing. So… now I understand.”

    Some recipes advise you to mash a half cup of beans to thicken the liquid.
    Many people think that what this website says about an African origin is a myth, and that feijoada evolved from a Portuguese dish called, not by coincidence, feijoada, which in turn evolved from earlier European stews like French cassoulet. Here’s a recipe from Portugal.

    Good luck! Also, you should stress that you have to start soaking the beans the day before, otherwise people will start at noon and plan to eat it that evening, which won’t work.

    • globaltable says:

      I’ve also seen the suggestion to puree some of the beans to thicken the liquid. I think that’s personal preference, depending if you want more of a “chili” texture or straight up beans. :)

  3. Hi there

    I´m brazilian and I am from Minas Gerais. Good feijoada is called faijoada mineira, i.e. from Minas Gerais, so I know this craft.

    Some tips for cooking the perfect feijoada:

    – do use a lot of bay leaves while you´re cooking it. It complements the beans´ flavor and mellows the whole pot together. don t forget the black pepper too

    – onions abound. just 1 onion for a pot is nothing… use at least three… and garlic, loads of it

    – do mash the beans while you re cooking so the gravy thickens

    – instead of roasting the meat before (I´ve never seen people doing it), saute it in the pan you re simmering the whole thing. It will deglaze the flavors into the beans. If you can t find propper carne seca, go for jerky beef, tastes just about the same… don t forget to unsalt it

    – Don´t soak the beans in cold water. Rather, pressure cook them with water and salt till aldente and reserve the liquid. After sauteeing meats reserve them. Grease the pan and toast fry the garlic, add onions, bay leaf, black pepper and cook for 1/2 minutes… add beans, stir fry it, add water and meats and then start simmering for as long as you can

    – brazilian white rice is stir fried before simmering too. Again toast fry garlic, saute onions, add rice and salt (no black pepper here), stir everything add double the water and leave it simmering covered until water almost evaporates. Turn off gas, lid it and wait 10 minutes before serving. If you re using brown rice, add 4 times water +-

    – if you re in need of veggies to help you swallow it down, go for thin sliced couve sauted in olive oil and garlic and a side of vinagrete: diced coloured peppers, tomatoes, onions, and carrots garlic, chives parsley and cider or white whine vinager

    – if you want a hardcore feijoada, add pork nose, tail, ears and feet to it.

    – you can t have it without torresmo, deep fried pork skin. Use a razor blade to shave it after frying (joking)

    – make a chili sauce: mix some gravy with chives and parsley, add crushed mAlagueta pepper. If you can t find malagueta, any hot red pepper will do. Don t muddle up with mElegueta/grains of paradise, I´ve seen people buying it thinking it was for feijoada, but it is not.

    Eat in a cold rainny day when you plan to do absolutely nothing.

    It tastes best the next day


  1. […] get a lot of credit for spreading many of their dishes (like the Piri Piri mentioned above and feijoada, which we cooked for our Brazilian Global Table) around the world as well as helping to spread food […]

  2. […] quite a bit since then. While most Feijoada’s involve black beans (even as far away as the one we made for Brazil), the islanders favor this white bean version and make it with readily available fish (and […]

  3. […] were many recipes for feijoda to be found, but I chose to go with yet another recipe from the Global Food Table site, simply because I have been so happy with all of her recipes so far. Additionally, she seems […]

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