Back in the mid-2000’s I had taken a sabbatical from yachting and flew corporate jets and international air ambulance; often times taking me throughout South America. As a foodie, I of course enjoyed cuisine of the region, especially this month’s dish.
Brazil’s national dish, feijoada, is a sublime combination of pork and beans and is traditionally presented on a large platter with ham hocks in the middle, and meats on the side arranged in a symmetrical, decorative pattern. This dish is simple to make albeit a little time consuming because of preparation. Best advice, make a nice chilled caipirinha and have some fun in the galley.
1 (12 oz.) package dry black beans, soaked overnight1 1/2 c. chopped onion, divided
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 smoked ham hocks (in the pork section of the supermarket)
8 oz. diced ham
½ lb. thickly sliced bacon, diced
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 bay leaves, crushed
⅛ tsp. ground coriander
½ C. chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley for a different taste, your choice)
Salt and pepper to taste
This dish starts the night before by soaking the dried beans. Follow the package instructions; but for the sake of this recipe, place dried beans in a bowl and add water until beans are covered. Let beans soak overnight and into the next day. You will know the beans are ready by the “pinch test.” Be sure to drain and rinse the beans before proceeding. While waiting for the beans to soak, this would be a good time to make mango chutney as a delicious condiment. See recipe below.
Now that the beans are ready to use, heat the oil in a skillet. Add ¾ cup of chopped onion, green onions, and garlic; stir until softened, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a large crockpot. Pour in the soaked beans and fill with enough water to cover beans by 3 inches and set to temperature to high. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 5 hours, or until tender.
While beans are cooking, place ham hocks in smaller pot with ¼ cup of the chopped onion. Cover with water and simmer, until meat pulls off of the bone easily, about 1 hour. Drain and add to the beans.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place ham, bacon, and remaining onion in a baking dish. Bake 15 minutes or until mixture is crispy.
Drain the bacon and ham mixture, and add to the beans. Season with bay leaves, coriander, salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered 30 minutes more. Stir in chopped cilantro and parsley just before serving on rice. Bom apetite, JW
2 cups sugar
1 cup distilled white vinegar
6 cups mangoes (4 to 5), peeled and cut in 3/4-inch pieces (See How to Cut a Mango)
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon mustard seeds, whole
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (hot)
1. Combine sugar and vinegar in a 6 quart pot; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, until syrupy and slightly thickened, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir occasionally during cooking. 3 Pour into clean, hot jars leaving 1/2-inch headspace; close jars. (Do not over-tighten the jars.) Process in a water bath 15 minutes.
To process in a water bath, put a rack on the bottom of tall, large pot. Place the sealed jars on the rack. Fill the pot with water, covering the jars by 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 15 minutes. Remove the jars from the pot and let sit at room temperature to cool.