Eaten with rice, this becomes a wonder food that gives you all the 9 essential amino acids that your body cannot live without.

Feijoada, a dish of pork and beans, originated in Brazil as a lowly dish for slaves, using the worst cuts of preserved meat. It has evolved into the sophisticated national dish of that country and has been exported in various forms to other parts of the world influenced by Portugal.

Different beans are used: Brazilians tend to use black beans; some Portuguese favour white beans; Macanese commonly use red kidney beans.

Here we present three Macanese versions.

Feijoada from Reinaldo Danenberg)

2½ cups (1 lb | 450g) beans
1 lb 9 oz | 700g fresh pork, cut in cubes
3 large onions, coarsely cut
olive oil
3 strips bacon
3 dessertspoons tomato sauce
1 dessertspoon salt
2 tsp sugar
1 oz | 30g margarine
bay leaves
cabbage, cut in strips

Feijoada and rice: a wonder food

Our bodies need 20 amino acids; we can synthesise 11 of these naturally but the remaining 9, the “essential amino acids”, crucial to various bodily functions, must be obtained through our diet. No single food source contains all 9; we can only get them all by a combination of foods. One such combination is feijoada and rice — not only delicious but also healthy, giving us all of the 9 essential amino acids in the one meal!

Soak the beans overnight.

Lightly fry the onions, add tomato sauce and salt and fry for 2 minutes. Add meat and fry until sealed.

Add beans, water and sugar, bring to boil and simmer until meat is tender.

In the last 20 minutes of cooking, add the cabbage.

Author not identified, courtesy of Yvonne Husband

1lb 10 oz | 750g red beans
pinch of bicarbonate soda
3 large onions
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin of tomato soup
tomato paste
3 bay leaves
1 tsp peppercorns
salt to taste
olive oil
1 csabai (mild) sliced into pieces
3 lb 5 oz | 1½ kg of pork spare ribs chopped into 40 cm | 1½-inch pieces
1 smoked ham hock
2 pig trotters, cut into 5 pieces (discard the toes)
½ cabbage

Cover the beans with 50mm (2 inch) of water, add a good pinch of bicarbonate of soda and soak overnight. Drain the water, re-cover with water and boil with the hock for approximately 1½ hours until the beans are al dente.

In a large pot fry onions, garlic and chopped tin tomatoes in olive oil until translucent. Then add the pork, tomato soup, tomato paste, stock from the beans, bay leaves and peppercorns. Bring to the boil, reduce flame and simmer until the pork is soft (approximately 1 hour)

Add the csabai and cabbage. Cook until soft.

Add the beans and bring to the boil.

Feijoada à Moda de Macau from Maria Celestina de Mello e Senna

12 oz | 350 g of white or red beans
Portuguese or Chinese sausages
1 lb | 450 g pork, cut in cubes
1 pig’s trotter, cut in rounds
1 onion
1 dried onion
12 oz | 350 gtomatoes, diced

Add 500g of bacon pieces
Add a little garlic with the onions
Add cubed corned beef

Cook the beans in water and salt. When tender, remove from the fire and drain.

Cook the sausages in oil.

Season the pork and pig’s trotter with salt and pepper.

Sauté the onions and tomatoes. Add turnips cabbage and carrots. When half cooked, set them aside.

brown the pork and trotters, add enough water to cook. When the water is well reduced, add the vegetables and, at the end, the beans and sausage.

Heat and serve.

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