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Traditionally eaten on Wednesday's and Saturday's throughout Brazil with white rice and oranges (amongst other things), this special and rich meaty slow cooked stew has a depth of flavour using simple ingredients that could bring 'ooohs' and 'aaaahh's' from across the Atlantic I'm sure. I save my version for special occasions when I want a really hearty shared meal and I love the way the beans melt into the sauce lending their luxurious almost creamy texture to the finished dish. Originally this was made by African slaves using fatty offal scraps and as tasty as it was (I've tried this version and it is pretty good!) many people nowadays, including myself, make it lighter and use better quality meats. The Orange and Coriander salad is not compulsory but comes very highly recommended. Absolutely Outstanding.
- 500 g black turtle beans (soaked in plenty of water overnight)
- 500 g beef steaks, cut into large chunks (any type)
- 200 g cooked smoked pork sausage, sliced
- 200 g spicy pork sausages (raw, can use chorizo style)
- 2 -3 pork belly steaks, cut into cubes
- 8 slices bacon, chopped
- 6 large bay leaves
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
For the orange and coriander salad
- 6 -8 oranges
- 2 onions
- 30 g coriander, chopped (half a bunch)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 squeeze lemon
- Drain the beans and place in a very large clean pan (or 2 large smaller pans) Fill with enough water to cover the beans by around 2 inches and bring to the boil. Do not add salt.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally if you remember to. Now add the cubed steak and the bay leaves and reduce the heat to low.
- In a separate frying pan heat the oil over a high heat, fry the pork belly until browned all over and add to the pot. Fry the raw spicy sausages whole and once browned, slice and add to the pot. Fry the bacon and add to the pot. Lastly add the cooked smoked sausage slices (no need to fry these).
- Cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes, if the mixture is looking a little dry, add more water but do not water log. Reduce the heat to low.
- Now take out a cup full of the beans and water leaving the meat in the pan. Put in the blender with the onion and garlic, whizz until almost smooth (add a bit more tap water if necessary) and add to the pot. (If you don't have a blender, mash the beans and grate in the onion and garlic).
- Add the hot pepper sauce if using, season to taste with salt and pepper and cook over a low heat for an hour or two checking every 15 minutes or so. Do not let the mixture dry out.
- You should have a thick, meaty fragrant stew, if not continue cooking until the excess water has evaporated.
- Serve with white rice and the orange and coriander salad below. Freeze any leftovers within 24hours.
- For the salad, cut the onion into rings or half rings and soak in iced water for at least an hour.
- Cut the oranges on a plate to catch the juice. Slice the top and bottom off each orange and run a knife down under the skin and pith so you end up with a perfectly peeled orange with no white pith. Cut into rounds, remove any pips and arrange on a plate or platter. Season with salt and plenty of pepper.
- Drain the onions and pat dry, mix with the olive oil, lemon juice and coriander then season well. Sprinkle over the oranges and garnishing with a little extra coriander.
- Enjoy your feast! In Brazil they say that feijoada will induce sleep, so don't eat it on a busy day!
My family loved this. I reduced the fat by omitting the bacon, pock belly, and the spicy sausage. So the result was a less complex flavor, but it was still very good. I added cumin, too.