Sunday, April 28, 2013

Brazilian Beans And Rice (Feijoada)

My hubby served a mission for our church for two years in Brazil.  That was 16 years ago.  And for the first time in our 12 years of marriage, I made him some Brazilian food.  I thought it was going to be harder than it was, and so I never did it.  And maybe if I had made this totally authentic, it would have been harder.  But I made it with what I had, and in the slow cooker, and it was actually really easy and really tasty.  If you ever buy a big spiral ham around Christmas time and don't know what to do with the ham bone, here is your answer!  If you've ever had a bag of dried beans sitting in your food storage for about 10 years and didn't know what to do with it, here is your answer!  This is the recipe you need to use up random food items that you don't really know what to do with.  Yay!

Brazilian Beans and Rice (Feijoada)
adapted from:

1 lb. dry black beans
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 onions
1 ham bone (or any of your spiral ham that is leftover-I had a ham bone and also some ends of the ham that weren't sliced and I didn't know how to use them)
5 cloves garlic, minced (2 1/2 tsp. already minced)
1/2 lb. bacon
2 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp. pepper
fresh ground salt to taste (you don't need much, the ham and bacon will make it salty)

Dump your black beans into your crock pot and then fill up the crock pot with water until it covers the beans.  In the morning, drain the water from the crock pot.  Then add six cups more water to the crock pot (just to get fresh water).  Thinly slice your onions.  In a frying pan, pour your olive oil and saute' your onions until they are translucent.  In the same frying pan, caramelize the edges of your ham bone, then add the onions and ham bone to the crock pot.  In the same frying pan, cook your minced garlic for one minute, then add to the crock pot.  Add your bacon to the frying pan and cook it until it is almost crispy, then throw it in the crock pot, too.  Add the beef bouillon cubes, pepper and salt to the crock pot and gently stir it all together.  Cook it on high for 1 hour, then turn it down to low for 5-6 hours.  At the last hour of cooking, remove the ham and bone,discard the bone and shred the ham, and then return the shredded ham to the crock pot.  You may want to cut the bacon into chunks (if you have little kids like I do).  The original recipe called for a couple of different kinds of sausage as well.  I think you can basically add any pork item that you have on hand and you won't go wrong.  I served mine with brown rice, orange slices and a salad, and it was delicious.

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