Feijoada is a stew of beans with beef and pork meats, which is a typical Portuguese dish, also typical in Brazil, Angola and other former Portuguese colonies. In Brazil, feijoada is considered the national dish.
The name comes from feijão, Portuguese for "beans", and is or [feʒuˈada].
The Brazilian feijoada is prepared with black turtle beans
, with a variety of salted
pork and beef products such as salted pork
trimmings (ears, tail, feet), bacon
, smoked pork ribs
, at least two types of smoked sausage
and jerked beef
(loin and tongue).
This stew is best prepared over slow fire in a thick clay pot. The final dish has the beans and meat pieces barely covered by a dark purplish-brown broth. The taste is strong, moderately salty but not spicy, dominated by the flavors of black bean and meat stew.
In Brazil, feijoada is traditionally served with rice
, and accompanied by chopped refried collard greens
), lightly roasted coarse cassava
) and a peeled and sliced orange
. Other common side dishes are boiled or deep-fried cassava
, deep-fried bananas
, and pork rinds
). A pot of hot pepper
sauce is often provided on the side. The meal is often washed down with cachaça
Since it is a rather heavy dish that takes several hours to cook, feijoada is consumed in Brazil only occasionally, always at lunch time. Traditionally restaurants will offer it as the "daily's special" only once or twice a week, usually on Wednesdays, Saturdays, or sometimes on Sundays. (As a traditional holdover from old Catholic
dietary restrictions, the Friday's special dish is more likely to be fish.) However, some restaurants will serve feijoada all the week long.
A popular myth states that the Brazilian feijoada was a "luxury" dish of African slaves
on Brazilian colonial farms (engenhos
), as it was prepared with relatively cheap ingredients (beans, rice, collard greens, farofa) and leftovers from salted pork and meat production. Over time, it first became a popular dish among lower classes, and finally the "national dish" of Brazil, offered even by the finest restaurants.
However, historians like Luis da Camara Cascudo consider that the feijoada is a Brazilian version of stews from Southern European countries like France (cassoulet), Spain, Italy and, of course, Portugal. Traditional Portuguese bean-and-pork dishes (cozidos) like those from the regions of Estremadura and Trás-os-Montes are the ancestors of Brazilian feijoada.
The basic ingredients of Portuguese feijoada are beans and fresh pork or beef meat. In northwest Portugal (chiefly Minho and Douro Litoral) it is usually made with white beans; in the northeast (Trás-os-Montes) it is generally prepared with red (kidney) beans, and includes other vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots and cabbage. Angolan and São Tomean feijoadas add palm oil for flavouring. The stew is best prepared over low heat in a thick clay pot.
Portuguese feijoada is usually served with rice and assorted sausages such as chouriço de carne, morcela (a blood sausage), farinheira and others, which may or may not be cooked in the stew.