Brazilian Feijoda

One more recipe from Jamboree – festival day meant food from our assigned countries.  We had represented the 4th Beaconsfield country of El Salvador with Pupusas for our activity and had an El Salvadorean cooked breakfast but Maisons-Laffitte scouts had been assigned Brazil as their country.  So what else but the national Brazilian dish of Feijoada for dinner.

A meaty, beany stew with spicy chorizo and smoked pork (we used smoked bacon) along with beef.  Luckily, festival Day at camp was Friday (Day 6) so by then most people eat most things as they are hungry and have given up being fussy! But even so I thought this might be greeted with a bit of pushing around the plates.  But afterwards the scouts were saying things like ‘that was the best meal on camp’, ‘I really liked that and I don’t even like stew’.  So the recipe needs to go on the blog.  As the weather is getting a little more autumnal, a warming dish like is just what the colder days are meant for.

We didn’t have it exactly as the recipe at camp – I used kidney beans rather than black beans, smoked bacon rather than chunks of smoked pork, I think I also used a jar of tomato pasta sauce in there too but that is camp and I think, in reality, every Brazilian household probably has its own twist on the recipe and varies it a little depending what is in the cupboards!

By the way, the photo is stolen from the web – no photo evidence of the Feijoada from camp sadly.


Can or carton of cooked black beans (if none to hand use red kidney beans)

8 slices of smoked bacon chopped

1 large or 2 small chorizo sausages, chopped (amount to your taste – it has a strong taste so you don’t need loads)

800g stewing steak or any other beef or pork suitable for slow cooking.

3 onions, chopped

4 cloves of garlic

a pinch of dried chillies (optional)

Olive oil

2 bay leaves

In a heavy based pan, fry the bacon until well browned and then set aside, then brown the beef and again set aside.

Then put the onions, garlic and chilli (if using) in the pan with the juices and fat from the meat and cook until soft.

Put the meat back in the pan along with the bay leaf, chorizo, drained beans (although my Venezuelan friend says she uses good quality pre-cooked beans and doesn’t drain them) and plenty freshly ground black pepper, cover with water and reduce the heat to a low simmer.  Cook until the meat is tender.  You could also put the pot into the oven on a low heat (140-160 C).

Serve with a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley or coriander (we didn’t at camp though), spicy sauce, sour cream and rice.  Traditionally it is served with slices of oranges.

It was lovely.  But surely this is not a meal that a nutritionist should be putting on her blog – all that processed and red meat!!  Firstly, no food should be banned – yeah too much red and processed meat is something health organisations around the world agree is not a good thing.  But having this stew from time to time is fine, there is not an edict that we should stop eating it altogether. Of course, being a nutritionist, I would say that you don’t need loads of bacon and chorizo – they are so tasty you don’t need so much to get a lot of flavour.

Of course, being a nutritionist I would also say have a bit of veg with it or some salad.    And the beans are a great part of this dish – both from a flavour and texture point of view but also nutritionally.  Beans and pulses are something that don’t generally feature enough in UK/European diets.  So go for it.  Unless you are vegetarian – add smoked paprika and pan fry loads of interesting mushrooms and aubergines instead of the meat and I reckon (although not tried it) you could get a not too bad veggie version.




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