If you have ever had Brazilian Feijoada, you know it is one of the most delicious things that can be made with black beans. However, traditionally it takes all day to cook and it is therefore only made for special occasions (or you can get it at restaurants that specialize in it. ) Generally it involves at least three types of meat, fresh, salted, and smoked. Sausage and something with bone are almost always required, often dried meat is one of the ingredients as well.
In order to save the modern cook a bit time and to make it a bit easier to achieve the flavor without having to hunt down obscure dried Brazilian meats, I used smoked pork chops and ham hocks with bone (which admittedly are quite salted as well, so too strikes) and the slow cooker to make this. You could presumably also use a small pork butt /ham as a meat, and (I am sure this is blasphemy) polish kielbasa or other smoked sausage or cook some fresh sausage to chop in at the end. Am not claiming to be completely authentic here, but yummy it is all the same! It is meat heavy, but served over rice with a nice side of braised chopped collards, after a hard day’s work on the range, herding cattle and catching calves, there’s nothing better! Common, just try, you can make that desk and computer fade away before your mind’s eye!
Cook it simply in the slow cooker, takes all day but not all day of your time and when done, it is simply delicious!
feel free to make less as this will feed an army, or freeze it in portions and just thaw and heat when hungry!
- 2 lb dried black beans (about 4 cups)
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 head garlic (6-8 pieces will suffice)
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 ham hocks, with bone (or salted/smoked meat of choice)
- 1 thick cut smoked pork chop, with bone
- In your large slow cooker insert, combine rinsed drained black beans (no need to soak overnight), onion, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, ham hocks and pork chop or meat of choice (except fresh sausage, that come later) and about 7 cups of water, add more water as necessary. (depending on the ‘age’ of your beans, they might take more or less liquid to cook through properly)
- Turn on high* and let it cook for 6-8 hours.
- When the beans are cooked, remove about a cup of the soft beans, mash with a fork or blend in you machine, then add back to the cooking beans. (At this point you can also cook the fresh sausage and add to the concoction, if using)
- Serve over rice and with a side of Collard greens. And of course, it’s best to wash it all down with a nice Caipiriña!
* slow cookers vary, check your instructions to see what setting is recommended for cooking beans
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