If you search this site, you will find all kinds of recipes for various versions of pork and beans, largely because I feel the combination is divinely inspired. I made this dish with various bits and bobbles from a Mangalitsa hog I acquired from a reader who lives in Berkeley, but there is no reason you couldn’t do this with a wild boar.
This version of feijoada is a riff off Portuguese feijoada — not the lustier Brazilian version with black beans, but a more comforting Euro-feijoada made with white beans. And yes, I get the weird racial significance of the whole white bean-black bean thing. Keys to this recipe are good beans and variety in the pork bits. The more various, the better.
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 3 hours
- 2 pounds white beans or Canario yellow beans
- 1 ham hock
- 1 pound ground pork, the fattier the better
- 1 pound pulled braised pork, such as that leftover from making stock
- 1 pig’s trotter (optional)
- 2 carrots, sliced into rounds
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 head garlic, peeled but otherwise whole
- 1 tablespoon piri-piri hot sauce or chile paste
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander seed
- 4 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
- Black pepper and chopped parsley to garnish
- At least 2 quarts pork broth or water
- Soak beans for at least 8 hours. If you don’t have 8 hours, soak repeatedly in the hottest water you can get from the tap, replacing it when it cools. This second method should take about 3 hours.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, gently brown the ground pork. If it is fatty, you will not need any extra fat. If it is lean, add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- While the ground pork is browning, hack at the trotter with a cleaver or heavy chefs knife to open it up in many places — this is to let the collagen and fat infuse into the stew.
- When the pork is brown, add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the trotter, ham hock, coriander, bay leaves and a healthy sprinkling of salt, then add the beans and mix it all together.
- Cover by 1 inch with pork broth or water. Ideally you are making this as an adjunct to making stock, such as when you have large pieces of a hog, like, say, a head. The feijoada will be better with pork broth, but don’t despair if you don’t have any. Use water or vegetable broth. Do not substitute beef or chicken broth. Bring to a boil and cover. Put in the oven for 90 minutes.
- Remove from oven and test the beans. If they are getting sorta tender, you’re good. If they are still rocks, return to the oven for another 20 minutes. If the beans are getting tender, add the carrots, garlic cloves, chile paste and tomatoes. Cover and return to the oven for 30 minutes.
- Check to see how the carrots are doing. The beans should be tender by now. Once the carrots are soft but not falling apart, add the pulled pork and recheck for salt. Return to the oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove and, still covered, leave the pot on top of the stove for up to 20 minutes, although you can serve immediately. Ladle into bowls, garnish with chopped parsley and black pepper, and serve with crusty bread and a lusty Portuguese wine, such as Touriga Nacional.