Monday, December 31, 2012

Brazilian Feijoada – Happy (and hopefully very lucky) New Year!!

We’ve posted about this before, but there’s a great, southern tradition of eating beans and greens on New Year’s Day to ensure good fortune in the coming year. 

Apparently, by eating “poor” the first day of the year, you align certain cosmic forces in your favor, which results in prosperity and good luck the rest of the year. Sounds crazy, right? I know, you’re way too sophisticated to believe in such lame supernatural shenanigans. Hey wait a minute…don’t you watch all those ghost hunter shows on cable TV? Busted! Hey, did you hear that noise?

Anyway, whether you believe in this kind of culinary clairvoyance or not, this Brazilian feijoada is one of the world’s great stews. The traditional good luck bean is the black-eyed pea, but here we’re celebrating the delicious, and very nutritious, black bean.

I tried to be clear in the video that this is just my version, and not some attempt at true feijoada authenticity, whatever that is. As long as you have black beans, and LOTS of smoked, salted, dried, and/or cured meats, you are well on your way to some kind of feijoada-like awesomeness.

In case you’re wondering, all I did for the greens was boil some kale in salted water until tender, and then sauté briefly in olive oil and garlic. It pairs perfectly with the white rice and rich stew, and while I can’t guarantee a year’s worth of wealth and good luck, I can promise you a delicious bowl of food. Happy New Year to all of you, and as always, enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 portions:
1 pounds dry black beans, soaked overnight
2 quarts water, plus more as needed (add more whenever stew looks too dry)
1 bay leaf
2 smoked pork chops
12 oz linguica
8 oz Italian sausage
4 oz smoked bacon
3 oz dried beef
1 onion
6 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
salt and pepper to taste
For the crumbs:
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp grated orange zest
2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley

Basic steps:
- Soak beans overnight, add to pot with bay leaf, beef jerky, and any bones
- Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until beans are cooked, but very firm
- Add onion mixture and meats, and simmer for another hour, or until beans are very soft
- Add a splash of water at any point during the cooking if stew looks too dry
- Test and add salt near the end, depending on saltiness of meat

View the complete recipe


Anonymous said...

How are you celebrating tonight, Chef John

Ana said...

Would love to see your twist of the original Portuguese dish, and maybe a try at Cozido à Portuguesa as well :)

Unknown said...

That's definitely the most refined version of that dish. We even have pork foot in this. Congratulations, chef John!

Jess said...

Feliz ano novo Chef John!

Cassava is another name for Yuca, a root veggie used in South America and Africa. Like a potato, but yummier! You can find the flour in African markets, but i'm sure the bread crumbs worked fine.

Chef John said...

Thanks all!

Jason, we're eating out, but can't say where due to the paparazzi.

Unknown said...

Looks amazing! How about trying moqueca bahiana next time?

Unknown said...

I've made so many of your dishes (since the heady days of Clooney with mustache) and not a dud in the bunch! And I'm such a fan of brazilian food I can't wait to try this. Can you try to make moqueca bahiana soon? Happy 2013!

Daniel said...

we (Brazilians) do serve it with orange slices and I strongly suggest you to do as well (and also with some vinaigrette).

Feijoadas tend to have a high (really high) fat content and some acidity may help digesting it.

PS: I agree with Bill Mark: you should try some moqueca baiana (it's a really delicious fish stew).

PH said...

Happy New Year, Chef John and family! Keep the fantastic recipes coming :)

Unknown said...

Is there another meat that I can use than italian sausage? There is a certain spice in the sausage (I don't know what it is) that I don't like.

Roberto said...

In the South U.S. not just any bean will do for luck; it must be Black Eyed Peas (yes, they're really beans).

Here in Italy we use lentils.

This dish looks yummy whether it brings luck or not.

Gretchen said...

In New Orleans we eat blackeyed peas and cabbage for luck, also known as Gassypalooza

Juliano said...

Chef John, what an amazing recipe. It is the only one that is a tradition in my family for generations here in Brazil. And yours is pretty much identical to the ones we make. We just don't throw away the water used to soak the beans. it's like considered a capital crime or something. i did this once, my dad made me go to the store and buy new beans, with my money.. And we like to put a whole orange in it, just without the peel, about 20 minutes before it finished. it makes everything much lighter.. hum.. now i'm hungry.

Devilham said...

I made this today (New Years) and wow it's tasty! Made some modifications, but that's just what John always says to do anyway. I didn't have smoked pork chops, but did have an old rack of ribs from the summer in the freezer, not suitable for eating, but perfectly fine cooked to oblivion in with the beans. Also my leftover Christmass ham (we made WAAAAAAAAAY too much) met it's demise in the pot as well. I love the Jerkey in this most of all, would have NEVER thought to use it as an ingredient (I guess in Brazil they use something called carne seca, meening dried beef), but when I think of it, that is exactly what it is! Light dawns on Marblehead as they say here in Boston. Thanks for the inspiration chef, and have a wonderful and prosperous new year.

Food Junkie said...

This is definitely going into the queue to try. For New Year's however I think I will stick to the Maritime tradition of lobster dripping with garlic butter.

Connie T. said...

The first sentence say we've post this before, not I. How many people write your blog?

Ana C. said...

Awesome video, Chef John! I'm brazilian, and I super appreciated to see your feijoada. It looks like something that I could cook at home. :) And although some might say they find your choosing of meat funny, I liked it a lot. The traditional ingredients might include pork nose, ears, foot and tail, which I find disgusting, really. Besides, those ingredients are known to add ridiculous amounts of fat and salt to your feijoada. And YES, please try to make your own farofa to eat with your feijoada and white rice. I make mine with tiny cubes of linguiça and bacon, scrambled eggs and finely chopped parsley, making sure to toast my cassava flour really well so that it’s crunchy!
I wish you and your family a very happy new year! :)

dz.m.ziv said...

Thanks for the recipe!

By the way, another good way to help you digest your beans is by using Kombu, which is a kelp which looks kind of like seaweed. You can cook it with the beans (it adds no flavor) and just take it out when the beans are done! In this recipe I would take it out before adding the meat.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rodrigo said...

Hi chef John, my name is Rodrigo and i am from brazilk and a HUGE fan of you and your work, i saw your "feijoada" recipe and its pretty good.The only thing that i think could elevate your way of doing it, is to infuse the onions and garlic with lots of oil, when they are VERY brown just put that infused oil with the browned onions and garlic in the feijoada.And you should double the amount of onions and garlic!

Love you Chef John

Clarissa said...

Hi Chef John! I am from Brasil and simply loved your version of our dear Feijoada. I think it was a great idea to put some orange zest on the Farofa. I will definitly do that, but some slices of orange are necessary to because this dish needs some help on the digestion of all the fat that it contains.
Anyway, great job and follow the sugestions above and try to do the Moqueca. In the Baiana (traditional in the state called Bahia) version you will need some "dendê" oil, but without it you can call "Moqueca a capixaba", a version of the same dish but that is tradicional in another state of Brasil, Espirito Santo. ;)

Andrea said...

It's rainy and icky in SE Texas today. I have a pot of your Black Bean Pork Stew simmering on the stove.(smells wonderful, can't wait to try it) If I call it Feijoada my husband won't eat it. I'm also baking your Perfectly Puffy Popovers. My family loves them!!! Love you videos Chef!! Thank you muah!

Chef John said...

Thanks! Hopefully you'll tell him the name after he says he loves it! ;)

Por trás do porta-retrato. said...

Just for the record, this a very LIGHT, not to mention wealthier, version of feijoada! You know that stuff from a pig that you'd never use (ears, feet, even tail)? Yep, you thought right, it all goes in! Plus we usually add bacon to the bread crumbs! Most non-brazilians completely forget about the bay leaf, you touchdown on that one! Oh! And here in, Brazil we also think you guys do everything backwords! Hehehe....

Andrea said...

My husband loved it!! The whole family did. I froze half and we finished it off last week. It was even better the second time.

Unknown said...

I love to see other cultures enjoying mine! But just for the record, we don't use all those "fancy" meat. It's a tradition that came from the slaves, so you can imagine what kind of meat they could use. But that doesn't matter anyway! And the farofa is a side dish, not a "topping" hehe.
But it's delicious, huh? I LOVE it! Your look really good chef, congrats!

Unknown said...

Hi chef John, your feijoada looks yummy and pretty much like our Brazilian version. As already said, the orange slices or cubes will add a nice flavor and help with the fat. Most people like to heat it up with hot red chili pepper sauce drops on the bean stew.
Try to find kassava or manioc flour to make the farofa or you might want to try some corn flour, but I think your bread crumb farofa worked fine. You can add scrambled eggs, bacon bits, onions, olives, parsley.
If you get some of the beans and liquid and blend it, you will have caldinho de feijao, a soup version of the feijoada, usually served before to open up the appetite.

Chef John said...

Thank you!

Unknown said...

Hey Chef Jhon. Just tried your method. And as a brazilian I can say that it was awesome! And as always i've enjoyed your cooking! Usually is served with cassava, as you said, but it's usual to be served with cornmeal (those with big chunks). Congratulations! Just love it!

Art Good said...

Hello Chef! I'm a student with Escoffier Online, and for our World Cuisines class I chose Brazilian cuisine as my subject. I am cooking Feijoada this week, and your recipe & video are a big help! Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

I told my parents I would make black beans and rice for them, so I made this stew and the Alton Brown method of rice. It was the best decision of the week so far.

regis eco said...

Congrats! A good international version, and a very passable one for Brazilian standards of Rich People Feijoada, such as you will get in a big city restaurant here in Brazil. However, I do prefer poor people's feijoada, which is fattier but tastier. For that: substitute pork chops by pork ribs, preferably smoked and cut into small chunks; put a cut salted or fresh pig's ear, and also (MOST IMPORTANT) one or two pig's tails, salted or fresh and cut into three or four bits (salt pork must be put into fresh water for six hours prior to cooking). And a heavenly version should have three smoked pig's tongues, cut into small pieces.