We saw this recipe on a day we were preparing some dried Navy beans for a future dinner. Once we saw this recipe, we knew we could substitute Navy beans for the Cuban black beans traditionally used in Brazil.
Feijoada (pronounced “fay-ZWAH-dah”) is a Portuguese stew, which was modified by immigrants who brought the dish to Brazil. This particular recipe was further modified by the Cooking Light editors (October 2013, page 104) to make a tasty meal in the slow cooker. As we were researching feijoada, we learned that white beans are used in the original Portuguese stews, so we did not feel guilty about changing the type of beans in our version. We also learned that just like gumbo in New Orleans, every cook in Brazil has her or his unique recipe, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Warning: this is a recipe for carnivores! There are a variety of meats involved; when we served ours, we included the shredded meat from the ham hock, which the Cooking Light editors removed from their recipe. We thought the slow-cooked smoked ham was a great addition to the other meats in the mix! We also followed the practice of many other versions of feijoada by adding linguiça (pronounced “lin-GWEE-zuh”), a smoked cured Portuguese pork sausage seasoned with garlic, chiles and paprika, to the recipe we prepared.
Here’s a picture of our slow-cooker feijoada, served over rice.