Brazilian Challenge Day 11: Feijoada and Farofa

Today I decided to take the suggestions made by Danielle and Shelley and made feijoada and farofa.

Right off the bat, I’ll admit that I’m not that handy in the kitchen. I’m a bit of a nervous cook, though I’ve gotten better. My timing is always off and I often get distracted by just about anything else that’s going on, sometimes leading to me forgetting that I was cooking something in the first place. But not today.

I searched the internet for recipes. For feijoada, I settled on what looked like a pretty simple recipe posted by Maria-Brazil. I cut the recipe by 1/3 and only modified it a bit. One of the ingredients it called for was baby back spareribs, which sounded kind of complicated. As I spent most of my life as a vegetarian, I don’t even know what a sparerib looks like. So, since my husband adds bacon to pretty much everything he cooks since he’s landed in Brazil, I decided to use bacon instead.

It really wasn’t too complicated. I had soaked the beans overnight. I cooked the beans for a couple hours with the carne seca and sausage and then added the rest. The cooking time is rather long, but if you’re not going anywhere, it doesn’t take too much effort. I came away with only one minor injury – I managed to stab myself underneath my fingernail while cutting the carne seca.

Only problem – the beans turned out super salty, I’m guessing because of the bacon. Ok. So, I figured I would compensate by not adding salt to the rest of the meal (farofa, rice – just a little salt – and the chicken).

Update: The reason my feijoada was so salty was because I should have rinsed the carne seca a few times – who knew! Also, as I suspected, the meat to beans ratio was quite high, so I included too much meat or not enough beans. 

Farofa was simple as well. My base was an About.com recipe. Lots of butter with onions, I also added some banana (this was a good idea). Add farinha de manioca and then throw in some black olives and chopped hard boiled egg. The farofa turned out tasty, but very crunchy. Not sure if that is how it’s supposed to be, or if that means I over cooked or under cooked it, but I was hoping when I mix it with the beans, it would soften it up.

Update: The mandioca I used was the version intended to make soups thicker. I have to pay more attention to the pictures on the packages. 

My daughter ate it with no complaints. I thought it was pretty tasty. Ok, not fabulous, but not bad. We’ll be eating it for awhile, because despite my adjusting of the recipes, it made a whole heck of a lot.

The real test will be my Brazilian husband. I’ll let you know…

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20 Responses to Brazilian Challenge Day 11: Feijoada and Farofa

  1. Meredith says:

    Congrats! (and thanks for the recipe)

  2. Brasilicana says:

    Way to go! I posted my feijao recipe here:
    http://brasilicana.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/feijao-beans-recipe/

    I soak the carne seca overnight as well; that gets rid of the over-salting problem!

  3. Couple updates on experience based on my husband’s input (also included above):
    The reason my feijoada was so salty was because I should have rinsed the carne seca a few times – who knew! Also, as I suspected, the meat to beans ratio was quite high, so I included too much meat or not enough beans.
    The mandioca I used was the version intended to make soups thicker. I have to pay more attention to the pictures on the packages.

  4. Danielle says:

    Congratulations! You’re amazing! 😀 😀 For someone who doesn’t cook very often, feijoada is a hard thing to start with. Impressive!

  5. Ray says:

    Congrats!! It is a super complex dish to prepare, and most Brazilians are intimidated by it.
    Way to go! You will definitely get better every time you try it.
    So, what was your husbands veredict?
    😉
    Ray

  6. Ray says:

    I forgot to mention, my grandma and my mom usually put one or two potatoes if some dish happen to get too much salt. Potatoes suck up all the extra salt and your dish will be well balanced again. 🙂

    Ray

  7. How brave….especially for a former vegetarian. 🙂

    Ray’s advice rocks! oh my goodness I wish someone had told me this a longtime ago.

  8. Shelley says:

    wow! Your plate looks amazing! I’m craving Brazilian food SO bad these days…

    • Thanks! We had so much of it while we were in Rio because everyone has a churasqueira that I started getting really addicted! And I was planning on going back to being a vegetarian this year. As my daughter would say… “aye aye aye.”

  9. Alex says:

    Looks good! I’m hungry now.

    I really want to try to farofa and bananas, sweet and salty is the best combo in the universe.

    Abracos,
    Alex

  10. If you are pressed on time, or don’t want to wait around cooking the beans (and/or forgot to soak them overnight) you can always use a pressure cooker to speed it up. If you have one around, that is. Can’t say I have seen many of the “common” devices everyone has in their US kitchens here or anywhere in S. America, really.

  11. Pingback: Brazilian Challenge Day 181: Brazilian BBQ Central Style | born again brazilian

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