Main Course


brazilian black beans


  • 1 pound dry black beans (soaked overnight)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces slab bacon (rind removed), diced
  • 1 pound pork ribs, cut into individual ribs
  • 1 pound (450 grams) carne seca or corned beef, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 pound (225 grams) fresh sausages, such as chorizo or Italian sausage
  • 1 pound (450 grams) smoked sausage, such as linguica or kielbasa
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • water



Step 1 – In a large bowl with cold water, soak beans overnight.

Step 2 – Place the meat in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and let them cook for 20 minutes. That helps get rid of excess salt. This step is not needed if substituting the traditional salted meats.

Step 3 – Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and brown the pork shoulder. When the meat has browned, remove the meat from the pot, set aside.

Step 4 – 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 2 more minutes.

Step 5 – Add back the pork shoulder and the other meats and add enough water to cover. Add the bay leaves, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour.

Step 6 – Drain 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.

Step 7 – Stir well and taste for salt, adding if it’s needed. Simmer this, uncovered, until the meat begins to fall off the ham hock, which will probably take 2-3 hours.

  • Can be accompanied by white rice, fried bananas. A classic side dish would be sautéed collard greens and farofa.

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