This is a new recipe of an old favorite for me. For years I have made rice and beans for the Brazilian men of my acquaintance (Gary, Andy, Jon, Mike, and Marc) . Okay, they're not really Brazilian but they spent 2 years there, learning the language, serving the people, and eating the food. Feijoada is a national dish in Brazil.
The first time I made the beans, I didn't really follow a recipe. I used dried pinto beans, then just added what I thought would make them tasty - you know, a little bit of this, a little bit of that. Unfortunately, one of the "little bits" I used became unavailable (namely, Campbell's black bean soup). I stopped making the beans for a long time.
As I am writing this, I am in Milwaukee watching two of my perfect grandchildren while Andy and Amanda are house-hunting in Texas. Their uberfriends and neighbors, the Hunters and the Crosbys, have been so kind and helpful that I decided to make a Brazilian meal for them. Due to the lack of the soup + being away from my own kitchen, I was forced to experiment a little and come up with a different recipe. It is actually more authentic feijoada and, I think, tastier. I hope you think so, too. It is a 24 hour process, but don't let that intimidate you. It's actually really simple when using a crock-pot.
1 1/2 lbs. dried black beans
1 large sausage (Hillshire Farms), sliced
1 large green pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
3/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1 t. oregano
2 T. fresh basil, minced
2 bay leaves
pinch of ground cloves
1 t. salt
10 strips of bacon, cooked and diced
4 beef bouillon cubes
Soak the beans according to package directions. Set aside.
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet (cast iron works best)
and brown the sausage. add all the remaining ingredients except the
bouillon cubes. Cook and stir until the veggies soften. Cover and
cook over low heat for 1 hour, stirring frequently.
Pour the beans and the soak water into a large slow cooker and add the
meat, veggies and bouillon cubes. Cook on low overnight or for at least
12-14 hours. The longer it cooks, the better it is.
Serve with rice, Teryaki steak, and a green salad.