Pictures of Older Posts

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving (Feijoada)

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Brazil, so we, Brazilians, are not very sure what to do on this day. Those who live in the US usually get invited to American friend’s houses as “orphans”. This year I decided to celebrate Thanksgiving the Brazilian way, so I make “Feijoada”, a Brazilian party dish. We’ve also got some turkey, of course. Since Thanksgiving is a date to celebrate the families and friendships I decided to share a few of the party pictures! 

A popular myth states that the Brazilian feijoada was a "luxury" dish of African slaves on Brazilian colonial farms, as it was prepared with relatively cheap ingredients (beans, rice, collard greens, farofa) and leftovers from salted pork and meat production. Over time, it first became a popular dish among lower classes, and finally the "national dish" of Brazil, offered even by the finest restaurants. (Wikipedia)

The traditional feijoada is made with many different parts of the pork, salted, fresh or smoked, such as feet, tail, hock, ears, tongue, ribs, butt, bacon etc. Since most people don’t eat these exotic meats (my family loves them all), I make it with the basic “carne seca” (Brazilian salted cured beef) and sausage. Some ham hock or pig feet is necessary to yield some collagen. I remove the visible pieces from the stew before serving.
Feijoada needs to be accompanied by caipirinha, a drink made with cachaca (sugar cane alcohol), lime, sugar and lots of ice. And a nap or a walk in the park.

Feijoada (Brazilian Black Bean and Pork Stew)
10 servings
1 1/2 lbs dried black beans
1 pound carne seca
3 pounds sausage (Portuguese or Calabrese-type if available)
2 ham hocks (smoked or salted if possible)
2 bay leaves
24 to 36 hours before, soak the carne seca in water to cover, keep in the fridge and change the water once or twice. Soak the beans overnight.

The next morning, prick the sausages with a fork, place them in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the sausages for 5 to 10 minutes. Discard the water. Add the boiled sausages to a skillet and lightly brown all sides. Discard any fat.
Place the drained beans in a large stock pot with the bay leaves, carne seca, cooked sausage, and other meats (if using) and cover with cold water by 5 inches. Bring the beans to a boil in high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low heat and simmer, uncovered, for about to 2 to 3 hours or until beans are cooked. Stir from time to time so the beans don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. This step can be done with a pressure cooker.
Mash some beans against the pan sides with the side of a wooden spoon, lower the heat to very low and simmer for 1 or 2 more hours until thick and creamy.
Remove the big pieces of meat from the pot, cut them to bite size pieces and return to the pot. Remove the bay leaves. Check the salt. You should not need to add salt.
Serve the feijoada with white long grain rice, farofa, citrus sauce, sliced or whole peeled oranges and collard greens.

5 oranges
Peel the oranges including the white skin, cut into ½” slices and arrange them on a serving dish.

4 oz bacon, cut in ½” pieces
2 cups manioc flour
Fry the bacon in a skillet until golden brown and all the fat is released. Lower the heat to medium, add manioc flour and stir until lightly toasted. Add salt to taste. Use 1 tablespoon of olive oil to 1 cup of manioc flour for a vegetarian version.

Collard Greens
1 lb collard greens, washed and dried
1 teaspoon olive oil
Fold the collard green leaves in half lengthwise and cut away the stems. Pile 6 leaves and roll tightly like a cigar. Cutting across the leaves, make very thin strips. Heat the olive oil in a skillet, add collard greens, sprinkle with salt and cook over medium-high heat tossing until just wilted.

Citrus Sauce
This is not part of the traditional feijoada recipe. But it’s a tradition in my family’s feijoada. It lightens the whole dish and freshens up the palate.
2 cups orange juice
1/3 cup lime juice
1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
1 small bunch of green onions, finely chopped
½ onion, finely chopped
Fresh red pepper, chopped (optional)
Add all ingredients to a bowl. Stir. I usually make ½ of the recipe with pepper and ½ with no pepper.


  1. Yummmmiiiii... delícia!
    Ei, nao rolou um molhinho lambao de pimenta???? beijos gastronomicosss

  2. Of course! I planted and made the pepper sauce, it was very powerful! :) Mas eu estava esquecendo de servir, o Hans foi que pediu!

  3. Que delicia. We missed this feijoada.I will be there for the next one:)

  4. Pois e', Adri! Mas vai ter a da Borbinha, nham nham!