Brazilian Black Bean Stew – Feijoada Brasileira

December 29, 2009
3 Ratings
  • Serves 8 - 10
Author Notes

When I lived in Brazil in the seventies, one of my favourite dishes became simple stewed black beans and white fried rice that we literally ate with everything at home. But apart from a simple bean stew, the Brazilian’s most typical dish is Feijoada, which is a bean stew, cooked with several types of salted meats and served with white rice, orange slices and very thinly cut and sautéed kale or collard greens. It is also served with other things, it can have up to 6 different accompaniments but I simplified it for this recipe using the most popular ones.
It’s a crowd pleaser and can be made ahead - actually I find it much tastier the following day and the sauce thicker.
I have never found the salted meats outside Brazil so I make it at home with normal fresh meats. The most amazing thing I learned was that cooking the beans and meat with an orange absorbs some fat, making the dish much lighter. Don’t ask me why!?
Maria Teresa Jorge

What You'll Need
  • Black bean Stew with meat
  • 2.2 pounds dry Black beans or pre-cooked canned
  • 1 pound veal – best not lean
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork ribs
  • 1/2 pound smoked bacon
  • 1 chourizo
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlics, finely chopped (green inside part removed
  • 3 dry bay leaves
  • 1 fresh orange whole, with skin, washed very well
  • 1 orange – juice freshly squeezed and strained
  • 1 dry chilli or more (optional)
  • salt
  • 4 fresh oranges peeled to the fruit (don’t leave any white membrane) and cut in slices crosswise
  • Cooked long grain white rice
  • Sautéed Greens
  • 1 bunch kale or collard greens
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 garlic chopped finely (green inner part removed)
  1. For dry black beans: clean them and discard any stones or debris. Wash them thoroughly in a colander under running cold water and put in a large bowl, double the size of the beans. Cover with cold water 3 inches above beans and let reconstitute overnight
  2. The following day, cook the black beans in their soaking water (the water will be dark but is clean), add the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Do not add any salt to the water. Stir, cover with a lid and lower heat to minimum allowing to simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes, until tender.
  3. Cut veal in medium cubes, cut the pork ribs leaving each piece with 2 ribs attached. Remove the hard skin from the smoked bacon and dice in small pieces.
  4. In another pot, large enough to cook the beans and the meat together, add the oil and fry the bacon until light golden brown. Add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes until onion becomes transparent. Add 1 chilli (optional), the chopped garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add the black beans and their cooking water. Mix and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the veal, the pork ribs, the whole chourizo skin on and 1 whole orange, previously very well washed. Stir to mix everything well, season with salt and bring to a boil.
  6. Lower the heat, cover with lid and allow to simmer until meat is tender, almost falling of the bone, about another 45 minutes (depends on the quality of meat). The stewed beans need sauce so add boiling water and adjust salt whenever necessary. Stir once in a while so beans don’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
  7. When meats are cooked, discard the whole orange and bay leaves. Cut the chourizo in slices and add back to the beans. Add the juice of one orange and check seasoning.
  8. For the sautéed greens: Rinse leaves very well, pat dry, cut and discard any thick fibrous part of the stems. Stack leaves together and roll them into a cylinder lengthwise. Slice crosswise into very thin strips.
  9. In a sautée pan, add the olive oil and garlic. When it starts to sizzle add the greens and sautée for 3 minutes stirring constantly. Set aside and keep warm.
  10. To serve: Put the bean stew in a deep bowl with all the meats and serve using a laddle. Serve with white rice, the sautéed greens and the orange slices.
  11. Goes well with cold beer or a real Brazilian Caipirinha with lime and Cachaça.
  12. If using pre-cooked black beans skip steps 1 and 2 but make sure you add enough water so the bean stew has enough liquid to cook meats.
  13. Note: You don't ned to use stock to make this bean stew as the bacon and meats have enough taste.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Smaug
  • coffeefoodwrite
  • pierino
  • Helenthenanny
  • Maria Teresa Jorge
    Maria Teresa Jorge

9 Reviews

Smaug January 25, 2023
I'm not sure what is meant by "salted" meats; the dish as I knew it in Brazil contains every sort of smoked meat one could get their hands on, including sausages, ham hocks, smoked tongue, etc. In Brazil there are all manner of types of chourico and linguica; the Brazilian types aren't common in the US, but the drier types of Spanish chorizo and linguica are probably the best subs. I would say that farofa (toasted mandioc flour)- which is used in Brazil as a very common condiment- is essential. Bob's Red Mill markets a mandioca flour, if you can't find the Brazilian stuff.
Smaug January 25, 2023
ps- you can always get smoked ham hocks here, and I'd highly recommend using them.
enilorac December 16, 2011
Oh!! The first time I ate feijoada, I was in love with it. Love it over some rice. Thanks for the recipe!
Maria T. December 16, 2011
It is indeed, you're right. I always make it so it has a lot of sauce!
coffeefoodwrite January 11, 2010
I ate this bean stew in brazil and loved it -- so excited to have the recipe. thanks!
pierino December 30, 2009
I love this dish. I need to remind myself to make it again sometime.
Maria T. December 30, 2009
I need to post the other ingredients that go with eat - Farofa is very good with it. And obviously if you make it drinking a Caipirinha, then you'll be sure it comes out brilliant.
Helenthenanny December 29, 2009
This looks really pretty! And yummy too!
Maria T. December 29, 2009
It is really good, I promise.