Meaty Madness: Feijoada, or Brazilian Meat Stew

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I mentioned before how big a party Mardi Gras is down in Brazil, which meant I just HAD to cook Brazil. No brainer.

Since I moved to Chicago seven years ago (seven!), my list of “to try” restaurants has exploded. Like, I want to eat everywhere. Everywhere old, everywhere new.  Everywhere.  Alas, I rarely eat out, so the list continues to grow.

One of the types of restaurants over which I’ve been drooling is one of those Brazilian steakhouses. There are a few in town, and I’ll take any of them, but the thought of all you can eat meat just sounds amazing, gluttonous, horrible and wonderful all at once.

I’m sorry if you’re a vegetarian, but I just really love meat.  At times, I love meat to the extent that guys do when they gather around a fire (and when I say fire, I mean grill) and chat “Meat! Meat!” (and when I say chant about meat, I mean chant about meat).

I’m sorry if that makes me unladylike.

SorryNotSorry

You know what’s not unladylike? This soup. Or stew. Stoupreally. And it’s still very meaty.

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There are five types of meat in this.

Yes, FIVE.

Corned beef

Andioulle

Chorizo

Pork shoulder

Pork shank

FIVE.

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That’s a whole lot of meat, but it’s because of that meat that this also has a whole lot of flavor.

I found a lot of different recipes out there for this dish, and a lot of them sounded good and since I couldn’t pick just one, I meshed them all together into a recipe that I could only stop myself  from eating by sticking in the freezer.  While usually served with rice, I’ve been a bit riced out with all of the Indian food lately so I added some crunch with some rice chips. They’re like potato chips, but made of rice. Rice chips.  I also thought that a really good garnish would be some guacamole, because it’s guacamole- why wouldn’t it. However, I ate it all before I could eat the soup (I had friends to help).  Turns out, that would have been unnecessary. This stoup, by itself, is just perfecto.

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One note: I suggest making this up a day ahead.  Because the meat is all cooked in the soup (as opposed to before), all the fat from all of that meat ends up in the broth.  While that’s fine if you don’t mind that, by letting it sit in the fridge overnight, the fat will rise to the top and you can scraping it off-losing the fat, not the flavor. Personal preference here.

Makes one big pot

Ingredients

½ pound smoked Andouille sausage

½ pound spicy chorizo sausage

½ pound corned beef

1 whole ham hock or pork shank

1 pound pork shoulder, chopped into large chunks

½ cup tomato puree

1 medium red onion

3 cloves of garlic

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 tsp red pepper flakes

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp thyme

2 bay leaves

½ cup cilantro, chopped

Water, about 8 cups

1 large lime, juiced

Salt and pepper to taste

Rice chips, to garnish

Olive oil, for the pan

Directions

1. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil. Add the pork shoulder chunks and sear until each side is cooked, about 2 minutes per side.  Remove from the pot.

2.  To the meaty bits and oil, add the garlic, bay and onion and cook over medium-low heat until soft about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the cumin, thyme and red pepper flakes.  Cook for about 2 minutes.

3.  To the pot, add the black beans and tomato puree. Then, add the sweet potatoes, and all the meat. Cover with the water and bring to a boil over moderately high heat.

4.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 ½ -2 hours until all the meat is cooked through and the potatoes are soft.  Stir occasionally.

5.  Remove the meats from the soup and thickly slice them, removing any bones.  Add back to the pot.

6.  Season with salt and pepper. Serve with rice, if desired. Definitely garnish with cilantro (unless you think it tastes like soap. Parsley will work well, too).

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It’s so pretty! And tasty!


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