Feij-what? you’re probably wondering.
I got the latest issue of Cooking Light in my mailbox this week and Friday night finally had a chance to read it. In this issue, there was a collection of recipes for the slow cooker and among them was one that stuck out at me: Brazilian Feijoada.
Traditional Brazilian feijoada (pronounced fay-ZWAH-dah) is a meaty stew cooked with a variety of pork and beef products and is usually served over rice with orange wedges. It is a dish that usually cooks all day long and is usually cooked in stages with varying techniques: stewing, braising, roasting. Because the cooking process for this dish is so involved, it is usually not something the average home cook makes often and is usually reserved for special occasions. The Cooking Light version of this recipe made it seem like making it was no big feat, so I decided to give it a try, with a few modifications. The original recipe called for both pork shoulder (a bit fatty, I thought) and onion, both of which I left out. In place of the shoulder, I used a pork tenderloin that cut down the fat content but did not change the flavor. Leaving out the onions of course changes the flavor, but I think next time I make this (and I do plan on making it again), I will use a bouquet garni and just take it out prior to serving. I also used canned, rinsed black beans in place of the dried beans the original recipe calls for in order to save time.
This is a heavy dish, so we ate it with a bit of steamed rice, lime wedges and whole wheat tortillas. You really don’t need anything else!
Here’s how I did it. You will need:
- 5 slices bacon
- 1 pound pork tenderloin
- 1 smoked ham hock
- 4 very meaty beef short ribs, trimmed of their fat (about 2-2 1/2 pounds)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 2 cans black beans, drained of their liquid and rinsed
- Special equipment: a 6 quart slow cooker
Cook the bacon until crisp in a large skillet. While the bacon cooks, cut your tenderloin into 1″ chunks. Remove the bacon from the skillet, and saute the tenderloin in the pan drippings along with the garlic until brown on all sides, about 6-7 minutes.
Once the tenderloin chunks have browned, remove them to the slow cooker. Brown your short ribs on all sides in the remaining drippings. Once the ribs are brown, place them into the slow cooker with the broth, beans, bacon, water, and ham hock. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over everything, give it a good stir to mix everything and cook on low for 8 hours.
When the dish is completely cooked, remove the ham hock and bones from the short ribs. Shred the rib meat with a couple of forks and serve over steamed rice.
This dish makes 8 1 1/4 cup servings. It should be noted that this dish is not meant to be spicy, hence the absence of anything that might add fire to the flavor. It is rather heavy, so it is best served as a standalone dish with rice or a salad.
This recipe was modified from its original form, found in the March 2011 issue of Cooking Light here.