BRAZILIAN BLACK BEAN STEW (for eight)
This isn’t a true feijoada completa, but it’s moving in that direction.
2-½ quarts water
2 pounds (about 4 cups) dried black beans, picked over, soaked overnight in water to cover them by 2 inches, and drained well
6 slices lean bacon, chopped fine
1 pound lean boneless beef chuck, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 pound cured chorizo (spicy pork sausage) cut into 1 inch thick pieces
½ pound Canadian bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1-½ cups finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
¼ cup olive oil
a 28 ounce can tomatoes, drained well and chopped
2 tablespoons minced seeded fresh or pickled jalapeno peppers, or to taste (wear rubber gloves)
Tabasco to taste
½ pound fresh kale, coarse stems discarded and the leaves washed well and chopped fine
½ cup long-grain rice
½ cup chopped fresh coriander
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
warm flour tortillas to accompany
1. In a large heavy kettle bring the water to a boil and stir in the beans and the lean bacon. Bring the mixture to a boil, skimming the froth, and simmer it, covered, for 45 minutes. Stir in the beef and simmer the mixture, covered, stirring occasionally and skimming the fat, for 45 minutes. Stir in the chorizo and the Canadian bacon, simmer the mixture, covered, 30 minutes, or until the beans are tender, and skim the fat from the surface.
2. In a large skillet cook the onion and the garlic in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, stir in the tomatoes, the jalapenos the Tabasco and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Transfer 2 cups of the beans with a slotted spoon from the kettle to the skillet and mash them with the back of a wooden spoon thoroughly into the onion mixture, adding 2 cups of the bean liquid gradually.
3. Simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until it is thickened and transfer it to the kettle. Stir in the kale and the rice (if you’re using it), simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender, and stir in the coriander, the orange juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve the stew with tortillas.
NOTE: For a more elaborate presentation, omit the rice and kale from the recipe and instead serve arroz Brasileiro and couve a miniera (sauteed collard greens) as sides. Manjar de coco (Brazilian coconut milk gelatin) can complete the meal.