If you like meat, I mean a lot of meat, and beans and get amused saying fun words, then this dish is for you: Feijoada. Say it with me, "fay-zhwa-dah." See? Feijoada comes from the Portuguese word for "beans" which is really the staple that pulls the consistency together in this dish. But it's the combination of meats that will make your taste buds sing.
This reminded me a lot of the French Beef Bourguignon; the meat cooks long enough to become so tender that it practically melts in your mouth. The addition of black beans is very typical Brazilian and makes this signature dish of any Brazilian restaurant the common staple. Beyond the beans, the meat can be any combination of things, although it typically includes pork or a combination of several types of pork and beef.
I had never made this dish before but had always loved the name and today I just couldn't get the idea of trying this dish out of my head. So, I began researching recipes. I found that the only common factor each recipe had was the black beans and served with white rice. Some used pork, others used beef. Some used chorizo and pork, or beef and bacon. One used several different meats, so that's what I decided to do. This is the result of my afternoon's efforts. The family all gave it a thumbs up.
6 slices center cut bacon, cut into small pieces
1/2 pound dry Spanish chorizo or linguica, cut into thin slices
2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/5 pounds beef stew meat
1 medium tomato, diced
6-8 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp red chili powder
2 cans black beans
Coat the bottom of a large stew pot with cooking spray. Add bacon pieces and saute until slightly crisp. Add sliced sausage and saute together for an additional 3-4 minutes. Push the bacon and sausage to the side of the pot and add pork. Continue to cook until pork is browned.
Once pork is browned, remove all meat from the pan and set aside in a large bowl. Leave the drippings in the pan. Add chopped onion and garlic and sauté.
Once onion and garlic become translucent, add the meat mixture back to the pot. Add beef cubes and stir all ingredients together.
Add enough water to just cover all the meat. Add chopped tomato, bay leaves, cumin and chili powder. Stir all together. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cover. Let simmer for 2 hours.
Remove lid and add black beans, stirring all together. Leave lid off and cook for an additional 45-60 minutes or until liquid is reduced by 1/3 to 1/2 and becomes thickened.
Serve over white rice. It is also typical to serve with cooked collard greens and fresh slices of oranges.