Feijoada by Amanda Carneiro

« Feijoada is a reflection of Brazil’s racial democracy »

Cheap and nutritious black beans could often be found in the kitchens of African slaves in Brazil. They would cook the beans in a cabbage broth which they would thicken with a little roasted cassava flour (farofa). From time to time, they would enrich the broth with those cuts of pork their masters threw away, such as the tongue, tail, trotters or ears. They also added orange slices which Africans used to eat to prevent scurvy.

According to Rosilene Vitorino, former Brazilian ambassador to Paris, « Feijoada is one of the most Brazilian dishes; the cured meats and cabbage trace back to the Portuguese, the farofa from the Native Americans, and the oranges from black slaves. »

And yet, tracing an origin is not that simple, as explains Afro-Brazilian, Amanda Santos, when asked where her family comes from. It’s also not easy for her to find the ingredients that signify her dish while she is making it on a visit to Geneva.

This is what we invite you to discover in this video. And to give you a hint: we loved it!





3 hours




2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 bay leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound choriço sausage, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 pound carne seca or other salted cured beef, soaked overnight and cubed
1 pound baby back spareribs, cut into individual ribs
1 pound black beans
10 cups water4 cups collared or kale greens, sauteed in olive oil
4 cups cooked white rice
Brazilian hot sauce


1 orange, halved and cut into thin slices

Cooking directions

  1. In a large heavy-bottom saucepan, over medium heat, add the oil. 
  2. When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic. 
  3. Crush the bay leaves and add to the pan. 
  4. Season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Saute for 5 minutes. 
  6. Add the sausage. Continue to cook for 4 minutes. 
  7. Add the cubed beef, ribs, beans and water. 
  8. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the beans are tender, about 2 1/2 hours. 
  9. Add water as necessary to keep the beans covered.  
  10. Cook the kale greens separately. 
  11. Prepare the farofa. 
  12. Prepare the slices of orange. 
  13. Once this is ready, use the back of a ladle and mash 1/4 of the beans. Reseas on with salt and pepper if needed. 
  14. To serve like the brasilian style, spoon some of the greens and rice onto each serving plate. Spoon the Feijoada over the rice. Put a bit the hot sauce over plate. Garnish with the orange slices and farofa and voilá!