Feijoada, Brazil National Dish recipe


Feijoada is without a doubt the undisputed Brazilian national dish. It is a recipe of thick black bean stew served with rice and a variety of pork meats. It was invented by the slaves who were brought from Africa, during colonisation to work in the large estates and plantations in Brazil. The slaves would smuggle the leftover food from their masters’ houses and make a stew.

Originally feijoada was made using every part of the pig, for example ears, tails, feet and nose floating among the beans. Nowadays it’s a more pared down dish. It is usually served with sliced oranges, farofa (manioc), rice and shredded greens. The culinary culture of Africa was mixed with the European food traditions. The African slaves had the basic bean stew, the Portuguese added the sausage (linguiça), and the native Indians added the farofa (toasted manioc flour). This heavy combination of ingredients would give the workers the energy they needed to work all day in the plantations and cattle ranches.


 Feijoada – Brazil National Dish recipe

  • 225g smoked loin of Pork , cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 250g of salted pork ribs – de-salted overnight in water
  • 80g of smoked bacon
  • 450g Portuguese sausage
  • 225g Lean Smoked Ham Hock
  • 2 x spicy sausages, I use Portuguese sausages
  • 300g of sundried meat (can be found in Brazilian/Portuguese shops)
  • 1tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1Onion, finely chopped
  • 2Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 500g dried Black Beans, soaked overnight
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1.5LWater (approx)
  • 2 Oranges, peeled and sliced to garnish

The ingredients are very loosely in quantity, according to taste you can also add pig trotters, tail and ears. If you use these: clean them the nigh before soak them in cold water with the pork ribs

Start the process the night before. Overnight soak the beans,  the
salt ribs  and sundried meat in water, separately
1. Place the de-salted pork ribs and sundried meat in a saucepan of cold water, bring to the boil and continue to boil for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan add the onion and garlic and sauté until light golden brown.
3. Drain the beans and salt pork and add to the onion mixture together with the sausage, ham hock, salt, black pepper, bay leaves and water.
4. Mix well, bring to simmering point then cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are tender, stirring from time to time and adding more water if necessary.
5.cook for a further 45min to  1hour.
Tip: I usually cook this dish on a pressure cooker to accelerate the cooking process.
Serve with white rice, cassava root  and garnished with fresh oranges slices.
Drinks: beer and caipirinha


1 Comment

  1. Nic
    May 30, 2013 / 10:19 pm

    Sounds very interesting and packed full of different flavours, great dish Rosana!