Considered the national dish of Brazil and becoming popular worldwide, Feijoada is a comforting, warm, intense and flavourful black bean and pork stew. It is served with rice, sauteed collard greens or kale, orange slices and farofa (toasted cassava flour).
The main ingredients are black beans, salted cured pork cuts like ears, trotters, and tail, and smoked cuts like ribs, loin, sausages and bacon.
Living in Brazil, it is common to find those ingredients in supermarkets. But if you live in the UK, it is possible to find some of them in Brazilian and Portuguese shops. Polish products like sausages and smoked pork can be a good substitute.
Sausages are an important item to pay attention to. If you are looking for an authentic Brazilian feijoada, using Spanish chorizo is not a good idea. It has strong paprika and chilli taste, and it could cover the flavours of other ingredients. Rather, I recommend looking in Brazilian shops for calabresa and paio sausage. Bay leaves are important to create one more layer of flavour, giving a hint of freshness to the stew.
Although there are plenty of methods to cook feijoada in a fast way, my experience tells me that time is the most important ingredient. Slow cooking the ingredients step-by-step is required. My grandmother’s Feijoada recipe starts 2 days in advance, with plenty of time to desalt cured meats and cook them slowly.