I’m celebrating the Olympics with Brazil’s national dish, Feijoada, a stew of black beans and meat.1
I learned about Feijoada the first time I went to Brazilian churrascaria restaurant – the kind where they bring skewer after skewer of meat to your table. There was a large buffet in the middle of the restaurant, and the centerpiece of the buffet was a huge platter of black beans. It was the one dish from the buffet that stood out against the tidal wave of meat; now, when I go to a churrascaria, I try to save some of my appetite for some Feijoada. 2
Now, a bean stew may sound like a vegetarian option, but Brazilians love their meat. This stew reminds me of chili – meat and beans in about equal measure. Feijao is Portuguese for beans, and the black beans make up the base of the stew. After that, the mix of meats varies from cook to cook. They almost always include smoked pork (I’m using bacon), fresh pork (pork shoulder), beef (I’m going with chuck roast, but salted beef is also common), and sausage (I’m using smoked sausage as a substitute for Brazilian linguica sausage).
Looking for a taste of Rio de Janeiro from your pressure cooker? Try some Feijoada
Recipe: Pressure Cooker Feijoada – Brazilian Black Bean and Meat Stew
- 6 quart or larger Pressure Cooker (I love my Instant Pot Electric PC)
- Slotted spoon or tongs
- Flat edged wooden spoon (for scraping the bottom of the pot)
Video: Pressure Cooker Feijoada Time Lapse [Youtube.com]
Pressure Cooker Feijoada – Brazilian Black Bean and Meat Stew recipe. Brazil’s national dish, sped up in the pressure cooker.
- 4 ounces diced bacon
- 1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1 inch chunks (or carne seca – salted beef – if you can find it)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound smoked sausage (linguica sausage if you can find it)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1 pound (2 1/4 cups) dried black beans, sorted and rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Minced fresh parsley (optional)
- Brown the meats: Put the pressure cooker pot over medium heat (use sauté mode in an electric PC) and add the bacon to the pot. Cook until the bacon is browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pot to a large bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving as much bacon fat behind as possible. Add the pork to the pot in a single layer, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Move the pork to the bacon bowl with a slotted spoon. Add the beef to the pot in a single layer, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Move the beef to the bowl of meat with a slotted spoon. Add the smoked sausage to the pot in a single layer, and brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Move the sausage to the bowl of browned meat with a slotted spoon.
- Sauté the aromatics: Add the diced onion and smashed garlic to the pot, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let the onion cook for a minute to start releasing liquid, then scrape the bottom of the pot with a flat edged wooden spoon, loosening all the browned bits of meat into the onions. Keep sautéing the onions and garlic, occasionally scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits, until the onions soften, about 5 more minutes.
- Pressure cook for 40 minutes with natural pressure release.Stir in the dried beans, then the bowl full of meat and any juices, Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and the baking soda, then pour in the water and add the bay leaves. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 40 minutes in an electric PC, 35 minutes in a stovetop PC, and then let the pressure come down naturally, about 20 minutes.
- Taste, season and serve: Carefully remove the lid on the pressure cooker – the steam will be hot – and discard the bay leaves. Taste the stew for seasoning; it will need pepper, but probably not any more salt. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.
Serve with rice and orange slices. (Yes, orange slices are a traditional accompaniment.)
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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