Feijoada (Brazilian Black Bean Stew)


  • 1 pound carne seca (see notes for substitutions)
  • 3 large (about 1 pound) smoked calabresa sausages
  • 2 (about 8 ounces) paio sausages
  • 5 cups (about 2.2 pounds) dried black beans
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • ½ large orange
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 12 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste




  • The day before you plan on cooking the feijoada, trim the excess fat of all the meats (except the bacon) and place them in a large bowl. Cover with cold water and refrigerate for 24 hours, changing the water 3-4 times, to get rid of the excess salt.

  • Place the black beans in a separate bowl and cover with cold water. Let them soak overnight in the fridge.

  • Drain the meat and beans. Place the soaked meat in a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot and cover with enough water so they’re all submerged. Cook, over medium-high heat, until boiling. Let them boil for 20 minutes, adding more water as needed. Drain and reserve.

  • Combine the boiled carne seca, beans, bay leaves and orange in that same pot. Pour 2.5 quarts cold water and cook, over medium-high heat, until boiling. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.

  • After 30 minutes, add the sausages. Cover and continue simmering, occasionally skimming the fat that rises to the top, until the meat is tender, about 1.5 to 2 hours. 

  • Remove the orange and bay leaves. Discard. Remove the meat and sausage and slice into smaller pieces. Reserve.

  • Heat the oil in a sauté pan, over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until no longer raw but not yet golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add a ladleful of the cooked beans, without liquid, and stir to combine. Using a fork, mash the beans, to release their starch.

  • Pour that mixture into the feijoada pot and cook over medium heat, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until thickened. If too thick, add more water as needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

  • Return the meats back to the pot.

  • Serve with white rice, collard greens, fried bananas, farofa, vinaigrette salsa and orange slices!


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