Feijoada is a popular meal accompaniment in Brazil, where it is considered a national dish. The name is derived from the Portuguese feijão, meaning “bean.” It consists of black beans that have been slowly stewed with pork and beef.
Like much of Brazilian cuisine, feijoada is a fusion of cultures and tastes. It is an especial nod to the country’s African roots, with the most widely accepted origins of the dish being attributed to the slaves of the sugar plantations. The dish is reminiscent of the pork and beans found in the American South, and has even been described as a Brazilian “soul food.” It is often paired with greens, rice, and orange slices.
Variations of the basic ingredients for the Brazilian black beans exist all over the country, with additives like sausages, rice, and various seasonings. Some recipes call for pig’s ears, pig’s feet, or other bits that might otherwise be thrown away. You are more than welcome to use whatever meat trimmings you like. For our recipe, we like to use beef short ribs, bacon, Brazilian sausage, and Portuguese linguica sausage.
To finish this dish, we top the beans with crispy, buttery farofa. Farofa is a bread crumb-like topping made by pan-frying cassava flour in plenty of butter and oil. (In Bahia, it is traditionally made using dende oil, or palm oil, which gives it a deep yellow color.) For additional flavor, our farofa is crisped with onions, garlic, bacon, and salt and pepper.
Gluten Free Stuffing Alternative
Cassava and tapioca flour are gluten free, so farofa can also be used as an alternative to traditional bread stuffing for your holiday meal. Add raisins, chopped nuts, and apples for texture and sweetness and serve with turkey or roast picanha for a truly special dinner.
Recipe for Feijoada with Crispy Farofa Topping
For the Feijoada:
- 1 lb dry black beans (soaked overnight)
- 3 oz diced bacon
- 4 bone-in beef short ribs
- 4 Brazilian sausages, sliced*
- 1 smoked linguica sausage, sliced**
- 3 large tomatoes, diced (or 1 can stewed tomatoes)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 4 cups water
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp salt (or more as needed)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
*You can substitute chorizo if you cannot find Brazilian sausage, but it will have a different flavor. You will also want to pre-cook the chorizo to render some of the grease out.
**If you can’t find linguica, you can substitute another smoked sausage, such as kielbasa
>>>Find our custom brand Brazilian Sausage in our NEW Butcher Shop
For the Farofa:
- 8 oz cassava flour/tapioca flour
- ½ cup diced yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 strips thick cut bacon, diced
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Feijoada:
- Preheat a large pot (cast iron works well) over medium heat. Cook the bacon until crispy. Remove from the pan and drain over paper towels.
- Brown the short ribs and sausages in batches. Drain any excess oil.
- Add a tablespoon of fresh olive oil to the pan. Saute the diced onions until just translucent. Add garlic and tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
- Drain your beans and rinse them in cold water. Add them to the pan with the sliced sausages, short ribs, bacon, and vegetables. Cover with 4 cups chicken stock and 4 cups water.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Add the bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 2 hours, or until beans are cooked through.
- Remove the short ribs and slice the meat from the bone. Return the meat to the stew.
- Remove bay leaves before serving.
For the Farofa:
- Add your diced bacon to a frying pan over medium heat. When the bacon fat begins to render, add the butter.
- When the bacon starts to crisp, add the onions and cook until translucent (about 2 minutes).
- Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant-careful not to burn it!
- Add your cassava flour, salt, and pepper. Toast the flour until it soaks up the oils and turns golden brown (2-3 minutes). Stir the mixture occasionally so it does not burn.
How to Eat your Feijoada
For a traditional feijoada completa, serve your black bean stew over rice and topped with the Farofa, fried kale or collards, and orange segments. It is a hearty meal in its own right, but can also be a delectable side dish at your next family or holiday get-together. Enjoy with an ice cold beer, caipirinha, or fruit juice.
Try Feijoada at Texas de Brazil
Let us do the cooking for you! Feijoada black bean stew is just one of the many delicious and traditional side dishes on our menu. Visit one of our 50+ locations to try our churrasco-style meats and accompaniments in a lively and welcoming atmosphere.