‘Feijoada’ is one of the most traditional dishes of the Portuguese cuisine. ‘Feijoada’, is Portugal’s version of Chili – the ultimate comfort food!
This dish was originated around the 14th century in the Northern region of Portugal. During that time meat was scarce, so the poor peasants began using every part of the pig as a staple in their diets along with beans and cabbage which were easily available. All types of sausages were made with pigs meat (including his blood – Gross!). Generally ‘Feijoada’ is also made with white beans but I decided to use red kidney beans instead, just like it is done in the Tras os Montes region.
Since, we’re no longer in the 14th century, and a lot has changed since then (Thank Goodness!), I believe it’s time to give our beloved ‘Feijoada’ a new more 21st century meaning.
So let’s start by omitting all the animal-based ingredients. Result? Aww… The result was ‘bloody’ good (this is a totally un-political incorrect expression to use in this context… I know, I know)! But it was really delicious and full of flavour.
Try it. Be open minded and I am sure you’ll like it…
You can also add the vegetarian smoked sausage option – tofu or soy based – aka “Farinheira” and it will give it ‘that kick’.
This dish is great served with classic long grain rice recipe and a good Portuguese “tinto”.
And it’s one of those dishes that taste even better the next day.
- - 2 small different types of cabbage (either savoy cabbage or any green leafy cabbage)
- - 2 carrots sliced
- - 1 large onion finely chopped
- - 2 large cloves garlic chopped
- - 1/4 cup olive oil
- - 2 bay leaves
- - 1 tsp. salt
- - 1 tsp. sweet paprika
- - 1 tsp. cumin powder
- - 2 or 3 large cans cooked red beans (or white, or even both)
- - 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
- - 2 ‘Farinheira’ soy sausage (optional)
- - Start by gently piercing the sausages with a fork (if you have them). Then place them in a pan and boil them for 10 minutes. Reserve the water.
- - Meanwhile, sauté onions, garlic, and bay leaf in the olive oil for about 5 min. Let them cook for another 5 minutes stirring them so they don’t stick to pan.
- - Add 2 cups of cooking liquid from the sausages and let them cook for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- - Add the chopped cabbage, sliced carrots, and tomato sauce.
- - Stir gently and let them cook for about 30 minutes. Add the beans and a pinch of salt, and cook for another 10 minutes.
- - Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- - Serve with long grain rice and some rustic bread.
- You don't need the sausages for this dish as the cabbage and the beans are full of flavour and nutritionally rich - just add them if you want to recreate more authentically the traditional Feijoda