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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Guest Helga Ancona: Feijoada

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Feijoada is the undisputed national dish of Brazil. It is a recipe of bean stew with rice and pork meat. It usually includes “farofa” (mandioca, a root from the rainforest, mixed with maize flour and oil. Sometimes bacon...)

Originally Feijoada was made using every part of the pig, such as ears, tails, and nose floating among the beans. As this upsets tourists, a version of it is made especially with them in mind only using the fine meat parts of the pig. The origin of the Feijoada goues back to the sixteenth century with the introduction of slaves in Brazil. Slaves were used for many things, cotton production, cocoa production, rubber and with the goldrush boom for extraction of diamonds and mine digging. The culinary culture of Africa was mixed with the European food traditions. The African slaves had the basic bean stew, the Portuguese added the linguiça (sausage), and the Indians added the farofa (toasted manioc flour). The result was a particularly "heavy" dish wich lasted long and gave the workers the energy they needed.

1 lb. black beans
1 lb. smoked ham hocks
1 of each: pork foot, ear, tail, and tongue
1 lb. Mexican "chorizo," "pepperoni" or Brazilian "linguica"
1/2 lb. Chunk of lean Canadian bacon or
Brazilian "carne seca"
1/2 lb. Smoked pork or beef ribs
3-4 strips of smoked bacon
1/2 lb. lean pork
1/2 lb. lean beef
1 large onion
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
salt to taste
black pepper
hot sauce (optional)

Soak beans overnight in large container. Next morning, cook beans for 2-3 hours at low heat. Place ham hocks, chorizo, ribs and Canadian bacon in deep pan with plenty of water and bring to a boil. Change water and bring to a new boil, repeating the procedure at least three times to tenderize cured meats and remove excess fat. In a large frying pan, sauté onion and garlic using either vegetable or olive oil (smoked bacon strips optional) for two or three minutes. Toss in cubed pork and beef. Sauté an additional two-three minutes.

Mash 5-l0 tablespoons of beans and add to large pot. The resulting paste will thicken sauce. Add two tablespoons of olive oil, three garlic cloves all chopped-up or mashed, along with a tablespoon of white vinegar and a teaspoon of red-hot pepper. Stir, heat over medium fire for two-three minutes, and then transfer to contents of frying pan. (You may use two frying pans, if necessary). Let simmer for l0-l5 minutes. Add contents of frying pan(s) to the beans and let boil at medium heat for 1-2 hours. Serve over rice, with additional red-hot sauce, if desired. Then lie in a hammock and take a nap!