The national dish of Brazil, feijoada, is a rich pork and bean stew created over 300 years ago by slaves in the southern part of the country. Each region has its own spin on how to make Feijoada, but the stew is typically served over rice with fried greens and farofa (seasoned cassava flour) sprinkled on top with hot sauce to add some kick. Oranges are served on the side and offer a sweet tang to the heavy stew.
My husband spent his childhood in Salvador, Brazil, and grew up loving things like guarana, bridgadeiros, and feijoada. His family’s friend and housekeeper, Piedade, would often make feijoada for his siblings and him. He loved to heap spoonfuls of farofa on top.
To make the dish, various cuts of meat, along with beans, onions, garlic, and spices are simmered low and slow to blend the flavours into a thick soup. Because of the time needed to make this dish, it is typically served during the Saturday midday meal with a nap promptly following! Thankfully with slow cookers and pressure cookers, the average cook can replicate this traditional dish without the all-day effort. You can also use canned beans in a pinch.
Use a slow cooker: Sear all meat and then vegetables. Place beans, meats, vegetables, and spices in the slow cooker and cover with water. Cook for 8 hours.
Use an instant pot: Sear all meat and then vegetables. Place beans, meats,, vegetables, and spices in the pressure cooker and cover with water. Set cook time for 40 minutes and all to naturally release (about 20 minutes).
Use canned beans: Rinse beans. Sear all meat and then vegetables in a Dutch oven. Place all ingredients back into the Dutch oven with seasonings. Bring to a boil. Mash a ladle-full of beans to thicken if needed.