Feijoada – Brazilian Black Bean and Meat Stew

Brazilian FeijoadaThe other week, I was scrolling through all of the posts that I have done on my blog and was surprised to see that I hadn’t done a post on feijoada. I’m still a little bit in shock that I haven’t posted it here yet, but, let’s get over that shock and dig into this absolutely amazing dish!

Feijoada or black bean stew is the national dish of Brazil and is a must-have for when you visit Brazil. It is prepared with black beans and an assortment of meats, such as salted pork, beef and any kind of pork trimmings, ears, tail and feet. Bacon, pork ribs, sausage and jerked beef are commonly included as well. The fejoada is prepared over a low heat in a thick clay pot. The beans and meat are pre-cooked, some of the meats, like the bacon and sausage may be quickly fried in the pan before adding the beans. The smells are mouth-watering and the final dish should have a healthy amount of meat with a light covering of a dark purplish-brown broth from the beans.

It took me sometime to get accustomed to this dish, but that was in large part because beans were not quite my favorite thing to eat. But, it is difficult to not like this dish and after some time I fell in love with feijoada and can’t get enough of it.

It is difficult to go wrong with feijoada. It can be made with any variety of meats, traditionally pork and beef, and you can use as many cuts of meat as you want or as little. My recommendation is to always try to have some sausage, bacon and either pork ribs or pork loin. Just those meats alone can make an absolutely delicious Saturday lunch with friends and family.

Brazilian FeijoadaFeijoada is commonly eaten with rice, collards, farofa and slices of orange to cut the heaviness of the beans and meat!

Today I will leave you with a simple feijoada recipe (you can leave out any of the meats you do not eat or do not have, and although I have put quantities, these are just indications), and for the accompaniments you can click the links below.

> Brazilian White Rice Recipe
> Sauteed Collards Recipe
> Simple Farofa Recipe or Farofa with boiled egg

COMPLETE FEIJOADA

Ingredients

1 kg black beans
100 g jerked beef
50g bacon or pork belly
70 g pigs ear or 1 pigs ear
70 g pigs tail or 1 pigs tail
70 g pigs foot or 1 pigs foot
100 g pork ribs
100 g pork loin
250 g sausage

Seasonings

2 large onions, finely chopped
1 bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
3 bay leaves
6 garlic cloves, crushed
Black pepper
Salt

36 to 24 hours before making the feijoada, put the jerked beef and any salted meats in water to remove all the salt. Every few hours change the water.

If you do not have a pressure cooker, put the black beans to soak the night before.

On the day. Cut all of the meats into rough pieces, they can be a little bit bigger than bite size, but make sure they are not too big. Pre-cook the pork loin and ribs in water. I use a pressure cooker for this!

If using a pressure cooker, put the black beans with water to cook and leave cook on pressure for 30 minutes. If not using a pressure cooker, put beans in a pan with water and cook for approximately 60 to 90 minutes or until al dente.

Using a large deep pan or a clay pot, put a little bit of oil in the pan and heat. Add the onions and sautee for a few minutes, add the garlic and sautee until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the bacon or pork belly and sautee until almost cooked. Add the sausage, jerked beef, ear, tail and foot. Sautee for approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Add the remaining meat ingredients. Add the beans, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and leave on low heat for 20 to 30 minutes or until all of the meat is well cooked. If needed, you can add some water! Lastly, add the spring onions.

Serve warm with rice, collards, farofa and slices of orange.
Brazilian Feijoada

 

Information used from:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feijoada

Little Gluten-free Corn and Tapioca Breads (Broazinhas)

Gluten-free cornmeal and tapioca breads When I lived in the USA I didn’t really eat much cornbread, it’s not that I don’t like it, I just never really found a good way to eat it. I have always found that it was a little too sweet to eat with a meal and I never really thought to eat it as a snack. So, I pretty much didn’t eat cornbread!

But when I moved to Brazil, my husband introduced me to a very common cornbread that is called broa and I completely fell in love with it. Since first eating it I try to always have some in the house as I can’t go too long without it. Broa is a sweet cornbread seasoned with a little bit of fennel seed and is shaped into little or big rolls!

There are many different kinds of broa, some are more fluffy and others are much more dense. Usually, broa is made with cornflour and a little bit of white flour, but there are some recipes that don’t use white flour and others that substitute the white flour for tapioca flour.

Gluten-free cornmeal and tapioca breadsSince moving to Brazil and first trying broa I only bought it and never really took the time to learn how to make it at home. Fifteen minutes from my farm there is a really good bakery and they make the best broa I have ever had. Because their broa is so good, I never wanted to make it at home, and just kept buying it! But, the other day I decided to finally give it a shot and make my own. I found a wonderful recipe that was super simple and gluten-free. Within about 40 minutes I had piping hot, fluffy, broas out of the oven and ready to be consumed. They were so good that a few days later I made another batch, which was devoured quickly!

This recipe is wonderful. It is super easy. It is gluten-free. And, once you try these little Brazilian Cornbreads, you will want to have them for breakfast everyday or every afternoon with your coffee or tea!

Enjoy!

Gluten-free cornmeal and tapioca breadsIngredients
makes 20

1 cup of corn flour
¾ cup of tapioca flour (polvilho doce)
1 ¾ cup of water
½ cup of white sugar
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of fennel seeds
2 large eggs (or 3 small)
1 tsp baking powder
Butter and corn flour to grease tray

Mix the cornmeal and tapioca flour together in a bowl and set aside.

In a medium pan, mix the water, oil, sugar, salt and fennel seeds. Bring to a boil. As soon as the mixture begins to boil, turn off the heat and add the cornmeal and tapioca flour, all at once. Using a metal whisk, mix very fast until the mixture forms a ball and does not stick to the sides of the pan. Transfer the mixture to a standing mix bowl (I use a kitchen aid) and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

While the mixture is cooling, grease one large or two small cookie trays and lightly cover with cornmeal. Preheat the oven to 200C or 390F.

Once the mixture has cooled a little, begin whisking and add one egg, mix until fully incorporated. Add the second egg and fully incorporate. Lastly, add the baking powder making sure to mix in well. The mixture should be smooth, but slightly sticky.

Gluten-free cornmeal and tapioca breadsTo make the little balls, put some cornmeal into a teacup, take a spoonful of the mixture and place into the teacup, swirl the mixture around in the teacup, forming a nice little ball, and pop out onto the prepared cookie sheet. This method makes it much easier to make the little balls as the mixture is very sticky and is almost impossible to roll by hand. Additionally, each ball will have a nice light covering of extra cornmeal.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until they have risen and are a little hard on the outside. Do not let them brown too much!

Eat these right out of the oven with butter, cream cheese or Brazilian requeijão!

Farofa with Boiled Egg

FarofaI get a lot of people who are looking for farofa recipes and I get a good number of questions about farofa, so I thought it was time to post a new farofa recipe. For those of you who don’t remember what farofa is or want to see my first post about it take a look HERE.

I absolutely love farofa and eat it with almost anything. My favorite is to eat it with rice, beans and meat. Traditionally it is served at barbecues with sausage, but you often find it as an accompaniment for any variety of dishes!

Farofa is super easy to make and can be made with any ingredients. Generally I stick to a simple recipe, but on the weekends or more special occasions I elaborate:). Here is one of my elaborated farofa recipes!

Ingredients

3/4 cup farinha de mandioca
2 – 4 tbsp butter
3 – 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 slices of bacon, finely chopped
1 boiled egg, chopped finely
1 handful of parsley

Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the crushed garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the bacon and fry for 3 – 4 minutes. Add the parsley together with the farinha de mandioca. Keep over the heat for approximately 1 minute. Lastly, add the boiled egg. Remove from the heat and place into a serving bowl. This can be served warm, cold, or room temperature.
Farofa

 

Rural Brazil – Summer Eggplant Lasagna

Eggplant lasagnaWe know it is summer when we can finally make our yummy eggplant lasagna. Because I live at a high altitude the weather is much colder than most of Brazil, nights are cold all year around and we actually have some seasons or at least there is a distinct difference between our winter and summer. All of this means that we cannot grow specific vegetables throughout the whole year. Mainly it is the fruits that we cannot grow such as tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers and eggplant.

We begin seeding our summer fruits in august, get the transplants in the ground by mid October and begin harvesting cucumber and zucchini by late November or early December. Tomatoes we can harvest by the end of December and pepper and eggplant only in January. By April it already begins to get too cold to continue planting. We are able to harvest into mid May, but by June all of  our summer fruits are finished.

So, a lot of the year we eat the basic vegetables such as collards, beets, carrots, escarole and spinach. But, when summer starts we go crazy in the kitchen with all of our summer dishes. We make a lot of antipastos, turn a lot of our tomatoes into sauce that usually lasts us the whole year and we make one of our all time favorite dishes: eggplant lasagna.

We love eggplant and when we have it we eat as much as possible. Our eggplant lasagna usually makes it into our menu on a weekly basis. It is so simple and we actually make this without pasta, so it is gluten-free!

We know that summer has really started when we can make our eggplant lasagna. So, yesterday was the first day I made eggplant lasagna and although it is unseasonable cold we know that summer is here!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you want to add pasta, you most definitely can!
Eggplant lasagna

Ingredients

2 large eggplants or 4 small
2 large jars/cans of tomato sauce
1 recipe of white sauce or bechamel
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Parmesan cheese or mozzarella

Slice the eggplant as thinly as possible, length wise. Place in a bowl and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Let rest for approximately 10-15 minutes.

Make one recipe of white sauce or bechamel. I do not use measurements, so if you do not have your own recipe you can follow this one HERE!

Preheat oven to 250C/480F.

To assemble the lasagna begin by spreading a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of your lasagna pan. Place a full layer of eggplant on top of the tomato sauce, cover with the white sauce and next add the tomato sauce. Continue in this manner until you have finished all ingredients or reached the top of your pan. Top with cheese.

Cover with aluminium foil and cook in the oven for 45-60 minutes. When almost baked through, uncover and allow the top to brown.

Manjar Branco Recipe Update

Some time ago I posted a recipe for Manjar Branco, one of my favourite deserts. The first time I made this desert it worked beautifully and I didn’t find it too difficult to make. Unfortunately, I never really managed to recreate my first successful attempt and after several failures I gave-up trying to make it.

A little while ago I stumbled across a new recipe for Manjar Branco and decided that I had to give it a go again. This new recipe I found takes much more cornstarch, so this makes it a pretty fool-proof recipe. My previous recipe works well, but you need to have patience. Because of the low cornstarch content it takes longer for the milk mixture to reach the thickness you need in order for the pudding to properly set in the fridge. In general, my previous recipe took close to 30 minutes to reach the right thickness. This new recipe takes 10 minutes!

Although this recipe works really well, I do need to warn you that it can go too fast, and therefore you need to watch the mixture very closely as it begins to thicken. You do not want the mixture to be too thick as it will then be difficult to place into the prepared tin or bowls and will result in a  heavy dessert.

In my recipe I recommend a measurement between 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cornstarch. If you want to use the full 1/2 cup of cornstarch in your recipe the mixture will come to thickness very fast. If you use the lesser amount it will take a bit longer, but there will be less chance of it becoming too thick!

Instead of making a caramel sauce with prunes I made a sweet blackberry sauce to accompany my Manjar Branco. If you don’t have blackberries you can make a simple fruit salad with mango, papaya, pineapple and oranges. Just make sure to add a nice amount of orange juice to the fruit salad so that there is some extra liquid to accompany the Manjar Branco.

DSC_0062-001Ingredients
(6 portions)

1/4 to 1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk (395g)
200ml coconut milk
100g coconut flakes
1 cup fruit salad or blackberry sauce

Dissolve the cornstarch with a bit of milk in a bowl. Mix well, making sure that there are no lumps. Add the remaining milk, condensed milk, coconut milk and coconut flakes in a medium pan. Add the cornstarch mix. Bring to a boil on low to medium heat, stirring constantly; approximately 10 minutes. Once mixture is boiling allow to thicken. Once thickened, remove from heat and pour into 6 small dessert bowls. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge to cool.

When you are about to serve, spoon the fruit salad or blackberry sauce on top.

Blackberry sauce
To make the blackberry sauce, place approximately 300g of blackberries in a pan, add about 1/4 cup of water and bring to the boil. Once boiling add 1/2 cup of white sugar and allow to boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not crush the fruit. Allow to cool and serve with the manjar branco.