Feijoada

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Feijoada - A Best Taste of Brazil

For those who have never experienced Feijoada, pronounced (fee-joe-da), it is possibly one of the unique and delicious best-kept secrets in authentic Brazilian cuisine. Traditionally served as a Sunday lunch in Brazil the celebrated routine can be compared to the American equivalent of a special roast dinner. Properly prepared by those familiar with creating the dish it provides one of the most memorable and completely original tastes and textures easily deserving of its elevated “best of” status reserved for the weekly family gatherings in Brazil.
Feijoada is recognized as the meatiest of all stews and is highly acclaimed by meat lovers worldwide due to its precision blending of perfectly prepared black beans and rice with sausage, ribs, bacon and smoked pork. A thick, flavorful texture is created through slow-cooking expertise which results in nothing short of a culinary masterpiece at the hands of experienced chefs.

Feijoada – A History of Flavor and Survival:

“Feijo” is the Portuguese word for beans and the national Brazilian stew featuring black beans was created as a means of stretching leftover pork odds and ends by combining them in a bowl to create a thick and meaty delight. Early influences responsible for the creation of the dish came from Portuguese colonists who used a black-eyed version of the “feijo-fradinho” bean and mixed it with various pork parts to create a delicacy for family feasting.

After the servants prepared gourmet meals for the Seoras utilizing the most sought-after cuts of meat they developed variations of the stew for themselves and working slaves using the remaining pig ears, tails, tongues, snouts, trotters and heads packed with seasoning and padded out with beans. The meal was perfect to sustain the laborers who worked long days in the tropical heat and helped fortify their bodies during the cold winter months. Feijoada allowed for excellent dining and survival at the same time.

Recipe and Instructions for Preparation:

Complete preparation takes up to eight hours due to slow cooking. Salted meats can be soaked overnight if desired and some may serve over brown rice as an option.

Ingredients:

12 ounce package of dried beans (black) allowed to soak overnight.
1/2 cup chopped onion that has been divided
1/2 cup of chopped green onion
1 clove of chopped garlic
2 ham hocks (smoked)
8 ounces of diced ham
1 pound of bacon that is sliced thick and diced
sausage is optional
1 tablespoon of quality olive oil
bay leaves (2)
1/8 teaspoon of coriander (ground)
peppered and salted to taste
1/2 cup of cilantro (fresh)
optional 1/4 cup of parseley

Traditional sides of collard greens and the farofa, orange wedges can be prepared in about 15 minutes and rice should be rinsed and set to dry and cooked for 30 minutes.

Cooking:

  • Heat the oil in the pot, add a cup of green and chopped onions mixed and garlic and cook until soft.
  • Pour in the beans and add enough water to cover them by 3 inches
  • Bring to a complete boil and then adjust the heat down to med/low and allow 2 hours of simmering
  • Place ham hocks in a small pot with the rest of the onions and add water to cover and simmer to the point that meat falls from bone. Do this while the beans are cooking.
  • Drain the mixture from the ham hocks and add it to the beans.
  • Ham and bacon can be baked at preheated 375 F oven along with the remaining onion until the mixture is crispy
  • Drain the remaining mix of meats from the oven add it to the beans along with bay leaves salt and pepper according to taste and the coriander.
  • Allow to simmer covered for 30 minutes.
  • Chopped cilantro and optional parsley can be stirred in immediately before serving.
Finding a Benchmark for Feijoada Nearby:

Trying authentic Feijoada prepared by experienced Brazilian chefs is the best way to get a feel of what is possible before trying to make it at home. In NYC the tradition of the celebrated Brazilian style family lunch is kept alive each Saturday at Emporium Brasil and has become one of the most popular weekly gathering spots to capture the flavor of their custom designed multi-dish meal which highlights the dish.

 

Unlike the usual one bowl buffet-style version of Feijoada which is sometimes served at restaurants in the area at Emporium Brasil the pork parts are separated into individual bowls and customers can decide which cuts are best suited for their preference. The Feijoada Saturday celebration meal served at the Emporium is centered around traditional sides, and every item is authentically prepared and spiced according to age-old Brazilian family recipes handed down through the generations.

 

“Great experience all around” Great steak and sides (and dessert!), very attentive wait staff and atmosphere was very nice but comfortable. Had a traditional Brazilian cocktail.

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“Authentic Brazilian” Amazing food, service, and staff in a terrific nyc location! Would definitely go back ….truly authentic Brazilian experience in every sense!

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As advertised NY has the biggest, best and brightest of virtually all products and services. Dining is certainly no exception to the rule. For those visitors or long-time residents, the multi-cultural offering of cuisines is considered among the widest variety in any city of the world. Finding great Picanha steak is most often just a formality of finding a restaurant which serves it. Brazilian cuisine does not necessarily lend itself to the most upscale and exclusive locations in order to track down top quality dining. Surprisingly the cut for Picanha is relatively considered to be one of the lesser expensive in the steak family.

Brazilian cooking as a whole is a more “family enriched tradition” as far as special recipes and techniques which separate a dish between great and perfect. It may only be a slight variance of ingredients but a better choice in cuts or more experience in grilling which brings out those bonus points for Picanha meat. For anyone who enjoys beef and especially for those steak lovers, Picanha steak is an absolute must try.

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