Feijoada is a stew of beans with beef and pork, which is a typical Portuguese dish, also typical in Brazil, Angola, Mozambique and other former Portuguese colonies. In Brazil, feijoada is considered the national dish, which was brought to South America by the Portuguese, based in ancient Feijoada recipes from the Portuguese regions of Beira, Estremadura, and Trás-os-Montes.
The name comes from feijão, Portuguese for "beans", and is pronounced [fejʒuˈadɐ].
The Brazilian feijoada is prepared with black turtle beans (also white, pinto and red beans), a variety of salted pork and beef products, such as pork trimmings (ears, tail, feet), bacon, smoked pork ribs, and 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 fried collard greens (couve mineira), lightly roasted coarse cassava flour (farofa) and peeled and sliced orange. Other common side dishes are boiled or deep-fried cassava, deep-fried bananas, and pork rinds (torresmo). A pot of hot pepper sauce is often provided on the side. The meal is often washed down with cachaça, caipirinha, or beer.
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 week long.
Historians like Luís da Câmara Cascudo consider that 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 earliest printed references to the dish appeared in the mid-19th century, based on menus of upper-class, urban restaurants.
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Feijoada (Brazilian Black Beans), www.maria-brazil.org
Brazil National Dish: Feijoada Recipe and Restaurants, www.brazilmax.com