Brazilian Feijoada (Pork and Black Beans) 

A few years before my grandmother died, my dad got a notion to collect her recipes. MawMaw was a “splash and dash” kind of cook – something that rubbed off on me –  in that she didn’t have full written recipes for her specialties. 

A dash of salt, splash of vanilla, a healthy handful of nuts and a quick whisk for no more than 3 minutes. 

My dad decided to shadow her in the kitchen one day, like a reporter. Literally following her around and taking notes on ingredients, techniques and cook times. 

I’m still working on perfecting her chocolate meringue pie. Last Christmas came slightly close – a dairy free gluten free version for the whole family. 

My love of cooking began early. So evident, in fact, that my sister though 4 years younger than me knew that the perfect gift for me when I turned 8 would be a “my first baking set.” I still have and use the cookie cutters at Christmas. 

My approach to cooking was nurtured by my MawMaw, grandmother, aunts and mom – experts in creating delicious concoctions that can’t be replicated because they were splashed and dashed on a whim. 

This has been a disclaimer for the recipes I post on sarainrealife. I don’t measure things. 

Like Rachel Ray, I use my palm as a tablespoon and go from there with spices and seasonings. But I tried to be more specific with the bean dish specialty of my childhood. 


Feijoada (fey- show – ah – dah) 

*I got all my ingredients at Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market. This recipe makes like 6 servings probably. *


1 link of smoked sausage

1 link of chorizo sausage

1/2 lb of pork stew meat

2-3 strips of pork belly or thick cut bacon. Pork belly will get all melty and amazing as it cooks with the beans. 

1/2 onion, diced 

1/2 bunch parsley 

2/3 bay leaves; or ground bay leaves 

1/2 canister or bag of dry black beans 

2 cloves garlic, pressed 

3 medium sized mason jars of water 




(Spices to taste)

How to: 

Cook down the pork belly and then chop it into small pieces. Set aside 

Brown chorizo on all sides and then set aside 

Brown the stew meat pieces, slice and set aside (ok if not cooked through) 

Slice the smoked sausage and set aside w the other meats 

Cook the onion in the meat drippings until translucent. Remove from heat and stir in parsley and salt. 

Add to instant pot or heavy bottomed pan. 

Add meats (leave chorizo whole and slice after cooking with the beans) 

Add beans and water 

Add seasonings

In a pot it will need to cook for about 2-3 hours. In an instant pot type pressure cooker, on the bean setting, cook about 35 minutes after pressure builds. You’re on your own for an old school pressure cooker. Sorry.

Serve over rice with a side of sautéed collards and some orange slices 

For the collards:

Roll them up like a pinwheel and chop like a carrot so that it ends up in ribbons 

Sauté in a hot pan with olive oil and salt to taste.

* This was an invent as you go, based on memories of taste and texture. Modify at will! It’s quite the treat.* 


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