Pork and bean stew

Pork and bean stew


This is Brazil
Stuart Scott

Feijoada is Brazil’s national dish. Popular legend claims that it was created by slaves during the colonial period, using the left-over parts of the animal discarded by their masters, but historians have argued that this is nothing more than a myth. The Portuguese have a strong tradition of cooking stews and it’s possible that this is just another dish they introduced. Whatever version you fancy, the truth is that this hearty pork and black bean stew is celebrated nationwide, and every family has its own special recipe.


Quantity Ingredient
600g dried black beans, soaked in cold water overnight
1 smoked pig’s ear, (see notes)
300g dried salted beef or jerky, diced and soaked in water in the refrigerator overnight, (see glossary)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
8 garlic cloves, crushed
2 smoked pig’s feet
2 smoked pig’s tails
200g smoked bacon, roughly chopped
500g smoked pork ribs, cut into separate pieces
300g pork loin, cut into 3 cm dice
300g smoked pork sausage, sliced thickly, (see notes)
4 bay leaves
30g parsley, chopped
30g chives, snipped


  1. Add the drained black beans, pig’s ear and drained beef to a large saucepan with 2 litres water. Cover and cook for 1½ hours, or until the beans are al dente. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion and garlic over a high heat for 4 minutes, or until browned. Add the pig’s feet and tails, bacon, pork ribs, pork loin and sausage. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the meat is browned. Add the bay leaves and the beef and bean mixture. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 20 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the parsley and chives over the pork and beans to serve.


  • Smoked pig’s ear, feet and tails will make an authentic Brazilian feijoada, but if you can’t find them, substitute unsmoked pig’s ears, tails and feet, or an equivalent weight of smoked pork hock. You can use any cured, cooked or smoked pork sausage, such as chorizo. Traditional accompaniments to feijoada are orange slices, couve or stir-fried Chinese broccoli (gai larn), rice and toasted cassava flour (see glossary), and a cold Caipirinha.
This is Brazil
Fernanda de Paula
Shelley Hepworth
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