Friday, May 20, 2011

Feijoada by Tom

Tom's Feijoada

Monday has become by default international night and often my time to prepare dinner.  Believe it or not, my inspiration for this meal came to me while I was watching "The Big Smoke-Off" on Food TV the night before.  I'm not sure I have the program title exactly right, but it is close enough.  The idea was something with a smokey taste yet something I could do inside on another one of our rainy days.  So I combined the idea of smokey tasting meats into a one-pot meal.  Well almost one-pot because I did complement the dish with jasmine rice.

This feijoada recipe is entirely my doing.  Feijoada is the national dish of Brazil; and as far as I can tell, no two families make it exactly the same way.  Feijoada is essentially several different kinds of meats (beef and pork principally), black or red beans and rice.  So my ad libbing a bit from standard feijoada recipes is perfectly acceptable.  If you like chili, I guarantee you will like this take-off of a Brazilian standard.

Ingredients

Servings:  a lot!  Freezes well for left-overs.

1 package hot Italian sausage links - about 1 pound
1 1/2 pounds beef steak - any inexpensive cut will do
~1 pound pork tenderloin
1 package smoked chorizo link sausage
1 half-package smoked bacon
1 large sweet onion coarsely diced
1 green bell pepper coarsely sliced
1-15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1-32 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2-15 ounce cans black beans
3 bay leafs
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper to taste

1 large skillet for sauteing vegetables and browning the meats
1 large cooking pot for holding all of the ingredients and simmering the feijoada


Coarsely chop the vegetables and set aside.  Cut the meats into ~1 inch bite-sized pieces.

Start by browning the bacon and rendering the fat.  Once the bacon is good and crisp, remove from the pan into the large pot for actually cooking the feijoada.

Using the bacon fat, saute the vegetables until soft, which will take 7-10 minutes.  Once the vegetables are soft, transfer into the cooking pot.  Now lightly flour the meats and brown them in the skillet.  I needed to divide the meats into two batches in the skillet to make sure that I got some semblance of even browning.

Transfer the meats into the cooking pot.

Now add all the other ingredients:  diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, cumin, ancho chili powder, liquid smoke, bay leaves, black beans.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Simmer for several hours, if you can.  This will make even the toughest cut of beef tender.  But at a minimum, simmer for one hour.

This dish goes best with a mild rice, like jasmine rice.  Prepare per the package directions.  Use the rice as a base for the feijoada.

Remember my guarantee.  If you like chili, you will really like this feijoada recipe.  Great on a rainy day.
---Tom

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