Feijoada (Meat Stew with Black Beans)
Makes 8 to 10 servings
Brazilians typically enjoy this hearty meal at midday, accompanied by acaipirinha and followed by a nap. Plan on spending two or three days putting this magnificent dish together. Serve feijoada with steamed rice, braised greens, and sliced oranges for a traditional presentation.
1 1/2 cups dry black beans, rinsed and sorted
1 lb corned beef
2 lb smoked pork spareribs or smoked pork chops
3/4 lb slab bacon
1 1/2 lb boneless beef chuck or eye round
1 ham hock
1 pig’s foot, split
10 to 12 cups low sodium or homemade chicken broth or water
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp peanut or olive oil
1 1/2 cups minced onion
1/4 lb chorizo, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, cut on the diagonal
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
Salt as needed
Freshly ground black pepper as needed
1. Soak the black beans in enough cold water to cover generously for at least 6 and up to 12 hours in the refrigerator. In a separate container, soak the corned beef in the refrigerator overnight in enough cold water to cover.
2. Drain the corned beef and place it in large Dutch oven along with the smoked spareribs or chops, bacon, beef, ham hock, and pig’s foot. Add enough broth or water to cover the meats. Add the bay leaf, cover the Dutch oven, and bring the broth to a simmer over low heat, skimming as necessary. Simmer until the meats are all tender, removing them from the broth as they become fork-tender (20 to 30 minutes for the spareribs or chops; 45 minutes to 1 hour for the other meats), and transfer them to a bowl. When all of the meat has been removed from the Dutch oven, strain the broth. (You can cool the meats and broth now and continue the cooking the next day.)
3. Drain the soaked beans and rinse well. Place them in the Dutch oven and add enough of the strained broth to cover the beans. Bring the broth to a boil over medium high heat and then immediately reduce the heat for a slow simmer, skimming as necessary, until the beans are tender and creamy to the bite, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Season to taste with salt. Drain the beans, reserving their cooking liquid separately.
4. Heat the oil the Dutch oven over medium heat until it shimmers. Sauté the onion in the oil, stirring frequently, until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the chorizo, garlic, scallions, and jalapeño; sauté, stirring frequently, until very hot and aromatic, about 5 minutes. Return the drained beans to the Dutch oven along with enough of the strained liquid from the beans to make a good, stew-like consistency. Simmer until the feijoada is very flavorful, 10 to 15 minutes. Lightly mash some of the beans with the back of a spoon to thicken the sauce, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Remove the meat from the ham hocks and cut it into medium dice. Remove the rind from the bacon and cut it into a medium dice. Add the diced ham and bacon to the beans and simmer 15 minutes. Slice the corned beef, beef, and separate the spareribs into portions. Add them to the beans and continue to simmer until the feijoada is very flavorful and thickened, about 15 minutes