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Eat the Seasons - July 2014

Fruits & Nuts
Blueberries, Gooseberries, Rhubarb, Blackcurrants, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Whitecurrants
Vegetables & Herbs
Globe Artichokes, Beetroot, Broccoli, French Beans (whole pod), Kohl Rabi, Pak Choi, Rocket
Meat & Game
Rabbit, Wood pigeon
Fish & Shellfish
Black Bream, Crab (spider and brown), Freshwater Crayfish, Lobster, Mackerel, Pollack, Sea Bass

Going out of season
Blackcurrants, Broad Beans, Loganberries

As we are in the midst of the World Cup and fast approaching the final on the 13th July I thought we would stray a little bit away from our usual ‘seasonal recipe’ and encourage you all to try this recipe for one of Brazil’s national dishes.  This stew - Feijoada (fay-ZHWA-dah) has as many versions as there are cooks, but in Brazil it almost always includes black beans along with a mixture of salted, smoked and fresh meats which can usually be found in one of London’s many Spanish, Portuguese or South American delis.

One common ingredient is carne seca, a salted, dried beef often available in Latin markets. If you are really struggling to find it then corned beef is a decent substitute.  As for the other meats, they should be a mix of pork and beef, but stay heavier on the pork.

You can adjust the flavour to suit, according to your taste go for a spicier sausage or stick with milder flavours. Some people’s feijoada are thick “eat-it-with-a-fork” versions, others, like this one, more like a traditional stew. Either way serve it up with white rice, sautéed greens, and slices of sweet, cool orange wedges to provide a break from the richness of the stew.  Drinks wise you should really be serving Capirinhas (crushed limes, sugar, ice and cachaca, aguardente de cana) if you want to be truly authentic!  Warning; you may need a nap after this meal, so make sure you don’t doze off during the match!!

Feijoada, Brazilian Black Bean Stew

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 5 hours


Serves 10-12


  • 1 pound (450g) dry black beans

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 pound (450g) pork shoulder, cut into chunks

  • 2 large onions, sliced

  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped

  • 1 pound (450g) carne seca or corned beef, cut into chunks

  • ½ pound (225g) fresh chorizo

  • 1 pound (450g) smoked sausage – linguica or kielbasa

  • 1 smoked ham hock or shank

  • 3-4 bay leaves

  • Water

  • 1 can (411g/14.5oz) crushed tomatoes

  • Salt


  • Pour boiling water over the black beans and let them sit while you prepare the rest of the stew.

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and brown the pork shoulder.  When it has browned, removed the meat from the pot, set aside and add the onions to the pot.  Brown them, stirring occasionally, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.  Sprinkle a little salt over the onions and add the garlic.  Stir well and sauté for 2 more minutes.

  • Put the pork shoulder back in the pan, add the other meat and enough water to cover.  Add the bay leaves, cover and bring to a simmer.  Cook gently for 1 hour.  Drin the black beans from their soaking liquid and add them to the stew.  Simmer gently, covered until the beans are tender (about an hour and a half).

  • Add the tomatoes, stir well and taste for salt – add if needed.  Simmer uncovered until the meat begins to fall off the ham hoc – around 2 to 3 hours.

  • Serve with white rice and a hot sauce such a Tabasco.