Feijoada is Brazil’s national dish. While there are many variations, it generally always contains beans and various meats cooked with spices, onions, garlic and oranges. Chillies are added in some of these recipes, but if not, hot sauce is never far away when this dish is being served.
On Fridays, virtually every establishment that serves food in cities like Rio de Janeiro makes Feijoada. Be it a cheap pub or the most expensive restaurant, Feijoada will be on the menu. In Rio de Janeiro, Friday is Feijoada day.
I became a fan of Feijoada when I first tasted it in a Portuguese bar in Capetown, South Africa. That version was made with white cannellini beans, whereas traditional Feijoada in Brazil is made with black beans. Regardless of this difference, the flavour was still to die for. It was comfort food of the highest order that I will never forget. So much so, that given the opportunity, I will make Feijoada at the drop of a hat.
Indeed. So, when I recently came across a recipe for a traditional Brazilian Feijoada, I didn’t need any encouragement. I was so impressed by the recipe that I decided to make it. Nothing was going to stand in the way of making this dish.
Before doing that, however, I needed to order some ingredients. They are ingredients that might be available in any Portuguese kitchen, but they certainly are not things I had in my larder. I am talking about ingredients like Paio sausages (a smoked Brazilian sausage made with pork loin and seasoned with garlic, salt, and Chillies) , corned beef (as a substitute to carne seca), the black beans themselves and Linquica sausages
Over and above these ingredients, I also needed smoked gammon, brisket (to make corned beef), a smoked ham hock, chives, parsley, onions, garlic, oranges, Chillies, pork belly, pork ribs, some olive oil and various herbs and spices.