Feijoada of Brazil

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Although I typically choose countries randomly, I decided to make an exception this week, (thanks for waiting, Azerbaijan, you’re next). The Olympic Games are in full swing, ripe with upsets (US Women’s soccer… still love ya), golden moments (too many to count), and thrilling endings (looking at you, Phelps, Biles…).

I decided to take a break from the TV screen to make the national dish of Brazil, and I am so pleased I did. This meaty, black bean stew, is lovely and new and well worth missing a couple Olympic events to prepare. In the picture, you’ll see the components of the dish – rice, sautéed kale, a spicy chili sauce, orange slices for garnish, and the stew itself.

Here are a few tips before you start cooking:

  • Make sure you have a very large pot. I don’t, and the proportions of ingredients weren’t what I wanted. The pot was overflowing with meat, beans, and onions, but I was missing that extra broth to make it feel like a stew.
  • Choose your meat/cuts wisely. This recipe calls for carne seca, a salted, cured beef. All I could find was thin slabs of carne seca, versus chunks like the recipe asked for. Tasty, but not the texture or bite you want from a meaty stew. Also, consider making your own if you have time, it can be pricey.
  • I reaaaaally wanted a beer with this, but didn’t have any. Make sure you do.
  • Do listen to some Brazilian music. So fun!

Being in the midst of this journey, I’m watching this Olympics with a different perspective from previous years. Track events started this morning, and I found myself rooting for the runners from Suriname and Bangladesh. Clearly, I’m attached to athletes from the countries I’ve explored through food. Added bonus of this project: I am better at recognizing the flags of even the obscure countries.

So with that in mind, have a very happy, competitive, nerve-racking, stirring, and patriotic Olympics, folks! Go USA!

Ingredient List

  • olive oil
  • chopped onions
  • chopped garlic
  • bay leaves
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • choriço sausage, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • carne seca or other salted cured beef, soaked overnight and cubed
  • baby back spareribs, cut into individual ribs
  • black beans
  • 10 cups water
  • collared or kale greens, sauteed in olive oil
  • cooked white rice
  • hot sauce


  • Garnish: 1 orange, halved and cut into thin slices, and Farofa

Quick Quotes

S: “I got too caught up in Phelps’ dominance to adequately critique this dish. The beef was really tender and delicious. I don’t like beans.”

T: “It was less of a stew due to the proportions, but I still enjoyed it. I’d also like to make my own salted cured beef in the future. All the different elements make it a super satisfying meal.”

Trivial Trifles

  • The capital of Brazil is Brasília
  • The official language is Portugese
  • The origin of Brazil’s name is believed to be from the Portuguese word for ‘brazilwood’, a tree that once grew plentiful in Brazil and was heavily traded with Europeans
  • Brazil was claimed by the Portuguese empire way back on April 22, 1500, not becoming an independent nation until 1822
  • The majority of the Amazon rainforest lies within Brazil, about 60%



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