Feijoada is Brazil’s national dish. The name is derived from the Portuguese word for bean, ‘feijão’. Basically it’s a thick mixture of beans, fresh and smoked meats plus, garlic and onion and seasonings.

Whilst it was invented by plantation slaves in the 19th century, who mixed their masters’ leftovers and off-cuts with the black beans which were used to feed the animals, it has evolved to include Portuguese and native Indian influences. In particular, the Portuguese added the linguiça (sausage), and the Indians added the farofa (toasted manioc meal). Today it’s traditionally served with rice or toasted manioc meal.

Black beans are most commonly used, but depending on the region, Feijoada can be made with any dried bean. Some regional feijoadas may be accused of not being the ‘true’ feijoadas, i.e. Feijoada Completa, as the peoples of the various regions use whatever local produce which is available, but whatever the modifications, the basics are the same, so we are going to commit the sacrilegious act of including a couple of these counterfeit recipes.


  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped Parsley
  • 50g Spring Onions, chopped
  • 2 boned Duck Breasts, skinned and cut into 5cm/2-inch cubes
  • 675g boned Shoulder of Lamb, cut into 5cm/2-inch cubes
  • 225g Smoked Kosher Sausage or kielbasa, cut into 5cm/2-inch lengths
  • 2 large Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 120ml White Wine
  • 400g dried White Beans, soaked overnight,
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • 1.1L Water
  • 2 whole Cloves
  • 2 Onions, cut into wedges
  • 450g Carrots, peeled and cut into 5cm/2-inch lengths
  • 1 Chayote Squash, peeled, cores and cut into 5cm/2-inch cubes
  • 2 Sticks of Celery, cut into 10cm/4-inch lengths


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan add the onion, parsley, and spring onions and sauté until golden brown.
  • Add the duck, lamb, and smoked sausage or kielbasa and sauté for 3 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, wine, drained beans, salt, black pepper, water, cloves, and wedged onions. mix well, cover and simmer for 1½ hours or until the beans and the meat are tender, stirring from time to time and adding more water if necessary to ensure that the beans are completely covered during the cooking.
  • Add the carrots, chayote squash, and celery, mix well and continue to simmer for a further 15 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender.
  • Serve hot with rice and/or toasted manioc meal.

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