I entered this into a chili cook-off and won third place. It's not even chili, but it won. It's that good. I can't really take credit for this recipe, because it's the national dish of Brazil. For a reason.
- 2 lbs dried black beans
- 3 lbs smoked ham of some sort, like a pork butt or a pork shoulder, but it should be smoked. Ham hocks are also good.
- 2 lbs sweet/mild sausage. Linguica if you have it, mild Portuguese sausage is the second choice, Italian sweet is the third,
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 2 large onions
- 2-10 cloves garlic. I usually use 10.
- some olive oil
Soak beans in a large bowl w/enough water to cover at least 3 inches.
Drain the beans and place in a GIANT POT with water to cover by at least 3 inches. Bring beans to a boil in medium heat.
Meanwhile, cut the pork into 1" pieces. Prick the sausage and simmer for 10 minutes in enough water to cover, then cut into 1" pieces too. Save the sausage water for later.
Add the pork, sausage, and bay leaves to the beans. Simmer for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally, adding the sausage water to keep the beans covered. Need to stir a lot to keep the beans from burning.
Chop the onion & garlic. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion & garlic and cook until golden brown. Turn off heat, add two big ladlefuls of beans and mash them. (This will help thicken the feijoada.) Put it all in the bean pot and stir.
Simmer gently and stir occasionally for at least another hour, adding water as necessary. When you stir and notice the beans have started to stick to the bottom, it's done. A good feijoada should have a creamy consistency.
The feijoada will be EVEN BETTER by now. If you don't eat it all, it freezes very well.