Food

Feijoada-inspired Black beans, grilled Beef & fresh Salsa

To start the travel-inspired serie with this recipe I tried to find a way to bring the spirit of the two most famous Brazillian meat dishes in a single plate: Feijoada (meaty bean stew) and Picanha (grilled beef cut).

If anything, Brazil is known for its love for meat. To start the travel-inspired serie with this recipe I tried to find a way to bring the spirit of the two most famous Brazillian meat dishes in a single plate: Feijoada (meaty bean stew) and Picanha (grilled beef cut). The focus was on not having one overpowering the other while still ending up with a result a bit more digest than the traditional X + bean & rice & farofa (toasted manioc flour) combo you usually find in your plate in Brazil.

As explained in this post, my goal in this serie is not to provide yet an other copy of purely traditional recipes but to use local ingredients/techniques from a travel to create a dish inspired by our memories there.

Note that you can decide to pick each part individually and totally prepare on its own if you prefer/don’t have the time to do the full set.

Yield: 4 lucky people

Full ingredient list here

Grilled picanha

1 lbs Picanha (alternatively Sirloin)

2 tsp Garlic powder

2 tsp Salt

2 tsp Black pepper

Rub steak with the mix of salt, pepper and garlic powder. Let it rest for 1h at room temperature.

The Picanha cut requires more cooking time than if you opted for sirloin. I personally find sous vide to be the best approach to cook meat (especially beef and pork) as it gives you delicious and consistent results without the need to babysit the meat. Sure cooking times are longer but you can just drop the meat and forget about it to focus on the rest. Set the water temperature to 131F and let it cook for 2 hours.

Depending on how salty you want the result to be you can decide to remove the excess of rub before bagging the steak if you prefer. Personally I like the salted meat texture you get when cooking with the full rub on and especially how it contrast with the fresh salsa.

Sure it’s not super appealing when packed sous vide but it’s worth it

Once cooked let it rest for 5 min then pat dry with towel paper and very quickly finish with a broiler, cast-iron pan or a blowtorch to develop a nice crust. Note the meat can be kept up to 4 hours in the water bath without being overcooked so no stress if the first few drinks with your guests end up taking longer than expected.

If you don’t have a sous vide you can also achieve good results by panfrying the meat 20-25min depending on thickness (turning every 5-6 minutes).

Feijoida-inspired black beans

2 cup Black beans

1 fresh Chorizo

4 baby back Ribs

2 slices of Bacon

5 cups Beef stock

2 tbs Balsamic vinegar

2 Bay leaves & 8 crushed Pink berries

4 large Garlic cloves

1 large Onion

4 tbs Cornstarch

Salt & Pepper

Slice chorizo and bacon. Sauté in a hot pan to sear it before adding roughly chopped garlic and onion. Cook for 5 min longer. Divide the ribs into individual portions.

Put all the ingredients (except the starch) in a pressure cooker. Don’t forget to scrap that pan or use a silicon spatula to get all those delicious bits from the pan to the cooker.

Pressure cooker settings:

Pressure: High

Program: Manual or Beans

Time: 1h15 (+ about 15min natural pressure release)

Once the pressure has been naturally released, open the pressure cooker and mix cornstarch to thicken the sauce. The keep warm feature is perfect for the sauce to develop into a smooth consistency. Give it a good stir to mix the meat evenly.

This dish is almost better when eaten the next day as the flavors tend to be more deeply infused. You might have to add a tiny bit of water while reheating if the beans drank all the sauce.

Fresh salsa

2-3 heirloom Tomatoes

8 chunks of Mango

1/4 Navel orange

2 tbs finely minced Shallot

1 tsp ground Coriander seeds

Juice from 1 Lime

1 tbs finely minced fresh Red pepper (one not crazily hot)

Salt & Pepper

Cut Tomatoes, Orange and Mango into small pieces. Mix everything together.

If you can, do try to prepare the salsa a few hours in advance to give plenty of time for the flavors to develop and blend nicely.

One small tip for ripe tropical fruits if those are not easy to find where you live is to rely on frozen chunks. I know it’s not like the real deal but still better than those rock solid tasteless mangoes. I always have some Pineapple, Mango, Passion fruit in my freezer ready to join a colorful salsa. Side benefit is you can use 8 chunks here without buying the whole fruit.

Plating

Serve the beans with some orange slices (optional). Slice the Beef against the grain for the table and complete with a side of Salsa. It’s always a good idea to reheat the meat juice quickly in a pan to make a simple jus to put on the meat but that’s only if you feel like it.

Enjoy!

If you have suggestions, ideas or questions please let me know in the comments.

Full list of ingredients

Grilled Picanha
1 lbs Picanha (alternatively Sirloin)
2 tbs Garlic powder
2 tbs Salt
2 tbs Black pepper

Feijoada-inspired Black beans
2 cup Black beans
1 fresh Chorizo
4 baby back Ribs
2 slices of Bacon
5 cups Beef stock
2 tbs Balsamic vinegar
Salt & Pepper
2 crushed Bay leaves & 8 Pink berries
4 large Garlic cloves
1 large Onion
4 tbs Cornstarch

Fresh Salsa
2-3 heirloom Tomatoes
8 chunks of Mango
1/4 Navel orange
2 tbs finely minced Shallot
1 tsp ground Coriander seeds
Juice from 1 Lime
1 tbs finely minced fresh Red pepper (one not crazily hot)
Salt & Pepper

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