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Feijoada: Popular Brasilian Dish

feijoadaFeijoada is undisputedly the most popular dish of Brazil. This Brasilian Recipe essentially comprises of black beans and pork. Different garnishes are used in different parts of Brazil, but it traditionally included “farofa”. Like a number of other dishes there are many tales about its origins. The most romantic one is from the days of slavery when over a million slaves came from Africa. Beans were a staple part of their food and on special occasions, they would gain from the scraps and leftovers of pork meat coming from the rich kitchen. There is another version and perhaps more realistic that traces Feijoadas’ origin from the Portuguese stews or ‘cozidos’. Originally Feijoada was prepared with all parts of the pig but today it is only cooked with good meat parts. Ingredients for Feijoada Dry black beans – 1 12 ounce packet (soaked overnight) Onion- 1 1/2 cups chopped Green onions – 1/2 cup chopped Garlic – 1 clove chopped Ham hocks – 2 smoked Diced ham – 8 ounces Thickly sliced bacon -1/2 pound, diced Olive oil -1 tablespoon Bay leaves – 2 crushed Coriander – 1/8 teaspoon ground Salt and pepper- to taste Fresh cilantro – 1/2 cup chopped (optional) Fresh parsley – 1/4 cup chopped (optional) Method of Preparation: 1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or a big pot. 2. Add three fourth of the chopped onion, garlic and green onions. Stir for about 4 minutes or till soft. 3. Add the soaked beans and pour enough water to cover them by around 3 inches. Bring the mix to a boil and decrease heat to allow it to simmer uncovered on medium-low flame for a couple of hours or till tender. 4. While beans cook, put the ham hocks in another smaller pot with half cup chopped onion. 5. Pour water and allow it to simmer for an hour or till the meat is well cooked and pulls off easily. Remove water and add the meat to the pot with beans. 6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place bacon, ham with the leftover onion in a baking dish and bake it till crispy or 15 minutes. 7. Drain the ham and bacon mix and place it with the beans. Season this Brasilian Recipe with salt and pepper, bay leaves and coriander. Let it simmer for half an hour uncovered. 8. Add chopped parsley and cilantro and it is ready to serve.

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