Feijoada is a stew made with pork, beef, vegetables, hot peppers, collard greens, rice and oranges.
Sauteed Collard Greens
Starting a day ahead, place the dried beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water; soak the beans overnight in the refrigerator. In a separate bowl, soak the salt cured beef in cool water to cover to tenderize the meat, do this overnight also but change the water a couple of times. Drain the beans and carne seca; cut up the cured beef into chunks.
Coat a large heavy pot with the oil and place over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the salt pork, onions, garlic, pepper, and bay leaves. Cook and stir for 5 minutes to render out the pork fat and soften the vegetables. Add the ham hocks, sausage, ribs, cubed beef, carne seca, and black beans. Cover with just enough cold water to cover (about 2 1/2 quarts). Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce to medium-low heat, cover, and simmer for 2 hours, stirring now and again. Skim any foam that rises to the surface during cooking and add more water if necessary to keep the ingredients covered during cooking.
Dig the ham hocks out of the pot, discard the rind and fat, shred the meat, and return the ham to the pot. The beans should be really tender, like they are almost bursting. Mash about 1 cup of the beans against the side of the pot to cream them out. Give the stew a good stir, taste and check for seasoning.
To serve, ladle some of the bean broth into shot glasses or little cups, add a dash of hot pepper sauce and drink — this is traditionally done to get the palate prepared for the feijoada. Serve feijoada in large wide bowls, garnished with orange segments and accompanied by collard greens and white rice.
To prepare the greens: cut away the tough stalks and stems from the collards and discard any leaves that are bruised or yellow. Fill the sink with water and salt, the salt helps to remove any impurities. Wash the collards thoroughly to remove the grit, 2 or 3 times, until the water runs clear. Dry thoroughly. Stack up several leaves and roll up lengthwise in a bundle, cut them into 1-inch ribbons. Repeat until all the leaves are shredded.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; blanch the collard greens for 3 minutes until tender but still bright green. Drain the greens well.
Heat a large deep skillet over medium flame and coat with the oil. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes to soften. Add the blanched greens and toss well with the oil and garlic. Pour in the chicken broth and cook for 5 minutes until the greens are wilted and tender; take care not to overcook. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the feijoada.
Yield: 8 servings