Members' Recipes Archive

April 1999
Feijoada Completa (Brazilian Black Bean Stew)
Michael Bateman

Feijoada Completa (Brazilian Black Bean Stew)

By: Michael Bateman

Serves: 6

The most familiar dish in the country, feijoada completa is the daily staple dressed in its Sunday best or, to be precise, Saturday best, for that is the day it appears on menus throughout Brazil. This dish really needs the small black beans of Brazil, feijão preto, and you should use as many meats as you can -- this recipe includes about 1.5 kg/3 lb 5 oz. In all. Typical accompaniments are steaming white rice, crispy stir-fried kale, toasted golden cassava flour, malagueta chilli sauce, or chilli salsa made with some of the bean liquid and slices of orange. And of course a glass of ice-cold cachça, the spirit made from cane sugar.
This recipe comes from Street Café Brazil, published by Conran Octopus April 1999.


500 g/1 lb 2 oz dried black beans
500 g/1 lb 2 oz stewing beef (half could be sun-dried salted beef -- carne del sol)
2 pig¹s trotters (plus optional bits such as ears, tail and, especially, salted tongue)
250 g/ 9 oz smoked pork ribs
175 g/6 oz chunk smoked streaky bacon
1 large tomato, skinned and seeded
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 bay leaf sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
175 g/6 oz chorizo, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed then chopped
bunch of spring onions, white parts only, chopped
1 fresh green chilli, seeded (optional)


Rinse the beans, then soak in water overnight. Soak any salted meats overnight, changing the water several times to reduce salt content.

Use two large pans. Put the drained beans in one pan and the meat (except the chorizo) in the other together with the tomato, tomato purée, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cover with fresh water and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour (both need skimming in the early stages). Drain the meats and add them to the pan of beans. Continue to cook for 30 minutes, or until the beans are mushy (the beans and meat should cook in about the same time).

Cover and cook on top of the stove on a very low light for about 40 minutes.

In a frying pan, cook the onion in the oil until it is soft and golden. Add the chorizo, garlic, spring onions and chilli, if using. Ladle some beans from the cooking pot with their liquid into the frying pan. Mash up well, then add this coarse purée to the bean pan to thicken the cooking liquid. Simmer for at least 10 minutes to blend the flavours.

To serve, remove all the meats, slice each nicely into six pieces so that each guest will get a variety, and arrange on a large platter. Dribble with some of the cooking liquid to moisten. Serve the beans alongside.

© recipe copyright 1999 Michael Bateman


Author: Michael Bateman Email:

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