Weeknight Feijoada - Brazilian Black Bean Stew in the Slow Cooker

Feijoada
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    8 hrs 25 mins
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Feijoada is a Brazilian dish - an elaborate stew prepared with several different kinds of smoked meats, Brazilian-style beef jerky (carne seca), pork and/or beef ribs, other varied cuts of beef and pork, and lots of black turtle beans. Feijoada is a great example of slow food - the dish is often prepared over two days and it's meant to be enjoyed with family and friends as a leisurely weekend meal.

This recipe is a simpler version of feijoada, for busy weekends or even weeknights. This feijoada is prepared in the slow cooker with certain shortcuts such as canned black beans and a limited assortment of meats. There's an initial bit of preparation, but most of the work is left to the slow cooker. Serve feijoada over rice with orange wedges on the side to keep things simple, or prepare all of the traditional accompaniments: Brazilian-style rice, collard greens (couve a mineira), and farofa (toasted manioc meal). The leftovers are delicious wrapped in tortillas with rice and cheese or use the leftovers to make nachos.

What You'll Need

  • 6 pieces of smoked bacon
  • 1 pound smoked chorizo or other spicy smoked sausage
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 ham hock (country ham is good)
  • 1 pound beef short ribs
  • and/or 1 pound pork ribs
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1-2 teaspoons cumin
  • 3 (14.5 ounces) cans black beans, drained
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1 lime (optional)

How to Make It

 

  1. Coarsely chop the onions and tomato and set aside. Mince the garlic.
     
  2. Place the bacon in a heavy skillet and cook over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels.
     
  3. Add chorizo to the same skillet and brown. Remove from heat and slice crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces. Return slices to pan and brown them, then drain on paper towels.
     
  4. In the same skillet, brown the ribs on all sides. Remove ribs and set aside.
     
  1. Add the chopped onion and garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent and starting to brown. Add the tomato and cook for several minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer onions and tomato mixture to the ceramic bowl of a slow cooker. Add sliced chorizo. Chop the cooked bacon and add to the pot, along with the ribs.
     
  2. Add the beans, 1 1/2 cups of beef broth, the ham hock, and the cumin to the pot.
     
  3. Cook mixture in the crockpot on the low setting for 6-8 hours, until the rib meat, is tender and falling off the bone. Taste for seasoning and season with salt and pepper. Add lime juice if desired. Serve over Brazilian-style rice with orange wedges on the side.