Fejoida – English style

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This weekend I finally made my wife a proper fejoida, after promising to do so for several years. I had previously made pork and bean stew, which although very nice, my wife informed me was not fejoida. For those that do not know, fejoida is a dish from Bahia, Brazil, made from black beans and pork. The dish was invented by slaves who were given the left over pork by their master to cook with. Really the meal is simply beans, onion, garlic, bay leaves and any bits of a pig you can get – ears, feet, lips, and no doubt less savoury parts than that.

Today in Bahia people also use salted beef and Brazilian smoked sausage. My wife managed to order these on the internet, so I cooked with these. But in future I will use steak and salami instead.

Anyway, on with the ingredients:

Pork – I used a mixture of chops, ribs and thick smoked bacon
Spicy smoked sausage
Beef (use good quality – the imported salt beef cost us more than a piece of fillet from the supermarket, so we will not be doing this again).
Large onion
Several cloves of garlic
bay leaves
black beans – if you cannot get Brazilian black beans, use nay others that you like – black-eye beans work well, as would a selection of beans, or kidney beans etc.
herbs – oregano, basil, tarragon
salt and pepper
cumin – and anything else you fancy (I usually like to spice it up a bit)
stock

Preparation is easy. Hack up any big bits of meat, chop the onion, slice to sausage.
Get a big pot, add some olive oil, fry the onion gently, chuck in the meat and garlic and all other spices and herbs, continue to fry gently until meat is sealed. Then add the stock (use chicken or beef) and add the beans (either soaked and washed or tinned). Top up with water, stir it a bit, bring to the boil, then reduce and simmer for a couple of hours. Serve with rice.

Easy. One pot wonder. Plus another for the rice….

It really pays to use better quality meats. My wife has agreed to let me make more “pork and bean stews” as I do not really like the Brazilian sausage and salted beef much. But each to their own. Try it, change it, modify it, and enjoy.

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