Getting ready for Carnaval: Making food from Brazil!

08 Feb

Keeping this little tradition: Holidays, talk about food. This weekend, it’ll be no different.

Bolivia also celebrates Carnaval, and kids are off school, for a grand total of 5 days… (!). Work will also be off, for Monday and Fat Tuesday – the best thing to do? Get together with friends, and plan fantastic meals! Let’s see if I’ll be able to come up with a fairly decent Brazilian feijoada, using my Bolivian ingredients… More to come on this post, but for now, let’s just get our appetites ready for what could be in-store for us! 😮

Whenever I meet someone from Brazil, I ask them what their favorite food is. After steak (picanha), it is almost always feijoada. It’s an old bean, pork and beef recipe, brought to South America, like many foods in many places, by those intrepid, globetrotting spice traders, the Portuguese, and then enhanced, like many other foods in many other places, by African slaves and their descendants.

Feijoada Completa

1 1/2 cups dried black beans (turtle is preferred, for texture)
1/8 lb. carne seca/cesina (about the size of your flat hand)
1/8 lb. pork ribs (about 2 thick ribs)
1 pig foot, split
1-2 pig ears
1 pig tail (smoked, if possible)
4 strips smoked bacon, finely chopped
1 paio sausage, cut into thick slices
1/2 lb. of linguiça calabresa (Portuguese-style smoked pork sausage), cut into thick slices
1 white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 orange, peeled (remove all of the white pith!)
8 cups water

The night before, soak the pig foot, tail and ear in cold water to draw out blood/impurities. Separately, soak the cesina in cold water overnight. In yet another bowl, soak the beans in cold water.

The next day, put the foot, tail, ear and cesina in a pot with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, boilf for 10 minutes and then drain. Refill the pot with cold water, bring to a boil again and cook until the meats are tender and beginning to fall apart. Drain well.

In a large pot or dutch oven (preferred), place the beans and 8 cups water, bay leaves, and peeled orange. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmering. Cook for 45 minutes. Add all meats, and cook for 20-30 more minutes.

In a saute pan, fry the onion and garlic on olive oil. Add about 1 cup of beans from the pan, cook briefly and mash well with the back of a spoon. Return the whole mess to the dutch oven and adjust for salt. Let simmer for about 20-30 more minutes, until beans are tender and meats are falling apart willingly. Remove from heat and let cool about 10 minutes.

Serve with boiled, medium-grain white rice, orange slices, farofa and (chiffonaded) collard greens (that have been quickly fried in canola oil and drained on paper towels.

2 tbsp canola oil
1 small onion, minced
4 slices smoked bacon, minced
1 cup toasted manioc flour (farinha de mandioca torrada)
1 bunch scallions – only the dark green tops! – thinly sliced
salt and black pepper to taste

Saute the onion and bacon in the oil over low heat until the bacon is fully rendered and crisp. Add the flour a little at a time, stirring to coat. Add the scallions when the flour has just begun to brown. Remove from heat, mix well.

Serve at any temperature, and refrigerate any unused portion.


Posted by on February 8, 2013 in BRASIL, FOOD, foreign service


Tags: , , , , ,

10 responses to “Getting ready for Carnaval: Making food from Brazil!

  1. frizztext

    February 9, 2013 at 4:18 am

    you made my appetite ready!


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      February 9, 2013 at 8:16 am

      Thanks! I’ll begin prepping on Sunday, for Monday’s luncheon… let’s see how it comes out!Hopefully, our guests’ll enjoy! Will keep everyone posted! 😮


  2. Lucid Gypsy

    February 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    I’d have to skip this one as I don’t eat meat but its certainly interesting!


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      February 8, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      I know… this type of dish is for the hard core meat lovers.. it’s a Portuguese dish, adapted from the African slaves, who used to work at Brazilian crops (coffee, sugar cane) in the 1800s. Let’s see if our guests enjoy it… Will keep you posted on the results… and I promise to soon come up with a fully vegetarian dish… 😮


  3. cookedearth

    March 30, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Thank you! I really appreciate the support, and I am really enjoying reading your blog too! Nice work!

    – Mark


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      March 31, 2012 at 1:16 am

      😮 Glad to know it!


  4. Madhu

    March 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Not sure why the Portuguese did not leave behind this recipe in their colonies in India! Wish they had!


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      March 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm

      Madhu, they left other things… and India gave Portugal countless influences… so, I guess it’s even… 😮 Thanks for liking the post! 😮



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