By Ana Helena Vannier, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Special lunch for family and friends? Forget about the barbecue and try this classic Brazilian dish: Feijoada! Don’t be worried about preparing it. Here you will find all the tips. Buy the ingredients and invite everybody to prepare it with you. In the meanwhile drink some caipirinhas and your special lunch will become a great party!
Historical fact: For almost 4 centuries Brazil used African slaves to work on its vast lands. These people lived under horrible conditions. Even until today, their influence in the language, dance, music, religion and food can be seen.
During that sad period of Brazilian history, the black people did not have a large menu, only rice, beans and manioc. Once in a while, when the masters commanded a slave to kill a pig, the slaves could acquire the less desirable parts of the animal such as the ears, feet and tail. For those who had nothing but rice, beans and manioc and worked all day long under the sun, those parts of one single pig were a fancy meal. They cooked it with the beans. Despites this heartless (inhuman) story, Feijoada remains a tradition in Brazil.
You may have some trouble to find the cuts of meat and the odd parts of the pig ( if you want to!), but try a good butcher or a special Brazilian market.
Set the table and serve the Feijoada in a large bowl and the meats in another recipient. You will eat it with white rice, kale (couve), simple farofa, special sauce and sliced oranges.
1 kilo de feijão preto (black beans, washed and picked clean)
500 gramas de carne seca (salted corned beef)
700 gramas de costelinha de porco (pork ribs (all attached to the bones, not cut) – salted or fresh)
½ kilo de pernil de porco (pork butt – salted or fresh)
300 gramas de toucinho (salted slab bacon)
4 paios (a Brazilian pork sausage)
½ kilo de lingüiça de porco fina (sausage)
½ kilo de lingüiça tipo calabresa (calabrese type sausage or any spicy sausage)
1 língua defumada (1 smoked beef tongue)
3 rabinhos de porco frescos (3 fresh pig’s tails)
4 orelhas de porco frescas (4 fresh pig’s ears)
4 pés de porco frescos (4 fresh pig’s feet)
OTHERS: 2 or 3 peeled and chopped onions; bay leaves; vegetable oil; chopped garlic cloves; salt (carefull!) and freshly little red pepper (malagueta) to taste.
HOW TO DO:
The salted meats should be left in a large stockpot full of cold water during the night. Change the water as much as you think it is necessary to take the salt off. (4, 5 times)
The next day fill a kettle generously with cold water and bring the salted meats to boil for few minutes. Remove the meats and drain the water. If you think there is already too much salt, repeat the process, drain it and set aside.
In another large kettle put the black beans, the bay leaves and the salted corned beef- as it is the hardest meat of Feijoada to cook. Cover it with cold water by more than half of the beans. (?) Place it over high heat, bring to boil, reduce the heat. Important: You can not let the beans cook completely. Only at the end the beans have to be smooth and pasty. (Note: Cooking time for beans depending on the freshness of it. Most beans will cook in around 2 or 3 hours.) Then add the sausages and the paio.
In a small skillet, heat the oil. add the garlic and the onions until golden. Take some beans and pressed it in the garlic mixture. Add it to the beans kettle. Try the salt and pepper. Ok, the Feijoada is ready!
At this moment to take it to the table, squeeze the oranges and add its juice to the Feijoada to make it lighter and to ensure a special secret flavor. Remove the meats from the beans to serve.
Special Sauce: onion, (salsa e cebolinha?) , malagueta pepper, juice of 2 or 3 lemons, olive oil, salt and a bit of the bean juice of the kettle.
Serves 12 to 14 adults.
½ kilo de farinha de mandioca (manioc flour)
3 colheres de sopa de manteiga (3 tablespoons of butter)
garlic and onion golden in the butter
salt to taste
When the manioc flour is toasted, the Brazilians call it Farofa.
Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter, the garlic and the onion until golden. Add the manioc flour and stir slowly until the flour has a lightly toasted color and is warm throughout. Serve it as an accompaniment.
The Brazilian cook rolls the couve leaves like a long tight cigar. First fold the leaves in half lengthwise and cut away the stems and inner ribs. Wash and pile it on top of one another and prepare “the cigar”. Hold the leaves and carefully slice it in needle-thin strips with a sharp knife.
Just heat a large skillet with olive oil and add the couve. Try the salt. Cook short. It should retain its color and remain slightly crisp.
2 tablespoons sugar
8 ice cubes
4 ounces cachaça (A Brasilian Liquor made from sugar cane)
Cut the lime in half stem end to bottom. Slice away the stringy pith that runs down the center of each half. Slice each lime piece in half crosswise, and then into small slices. Place half of the sliced lime in each or two rocks glasses, add a tablespoon of sugar to each glass, stir, and mull until the sugar dissolves.
Crack 8 ice cubes and add half to each glass.
Pour 2 ounces of cachaça in each glass, stir vigorously, and serve.
Makes 2 drinks. ((*)From the book: Brazil a cook’s tour by Christopher Idone.)