Feijoada or Brazilian Beef Stew is the national dish of Brazil. If made traditionally, it can take a day or two to make. A pressure cooker makes this version much faster!
What is a typical Brazilian meal?
Brazil is a country known for MEAT. I haven’t been there, however, my husband has traveled there on business several times. He has a lot of fond food memories of Brazil but said you can “hurt yourself” at a churrascaria which is where waiters serve hot grilled meats tableside fresh off the skewer.
What is feijoada made of?
Feijoada, or Brazilian Beef Stew, is another popular Brazilian meat dish. The meats used in feijoada vary by the cook, but it always includes black beans.
This version, inspired by a recipe in Cuisine at Home magazine, is not 100% authentic. However, it’s easy to make and can be made with ingredients found in your local grocery store.
My flavor-packed interpretation of the South American classic has cubed chuck roast, smoky kielbasa, a touch of fruitiness from orange juice, the spark of red wine vinegar and heat from chili powder.
How to make Feijoada (Brazilian Beef Stew):
- To make this classic long-cooked dish super-simple, I make it in an electric pressure cooker. If you’ve never used an electric pressure cooker, you’re missing out, my dear readers!
- With an electric pressure cooker, you don’t need a burner and you don’t even need to watch it. It’s electric so you just lock the lid, set the timer and do other things. My Cuisinart electric pressure cooker has been a real workhorse! Love it!
- First, however, you’ll need to brown the beef. Although electric pressure cookers have a browning feature, the heat is not high enough and the sides are too high to get a good sear on the beef so I sear it on the stovetop.
- Use as little oil as you can get away with and don’t crowd the pan. Crowding the pan causes the meat to steam rather than brown and it will turn a grisly gray color.
- Here’s a great tutorial from Ming Tsai on how to flip food in a pan. You might think at first you’ll have meat cubes all over your kitchen, but this method works great once you master the technique. This technique is much faster than stirring or turning each cube individually with tongs.
- When browned properly, you’ll end up with beautiful, caramelized beef ready for your pressure cooker.
Electric pressure cookers don’t go all the way to 15 psi (pounds per square inch) of pressure. Instant Pots only go to 12 psi. Stovetop pressure cookers do go that high, so, depending upon which pressure cooker you use, you’ll need to adjust the cooking time.
Here’s a great article from Fine Cooking Magazine all about pressure cooking: The Science of Pressure Cookers
To make this stew the old-fashioned way, you can also do it in a 325-degree oven or on the stovetop. This is also a great dish for your slow-cooker.
When the stew is done, release the pressure as gradually as possible. If done too quickly, the meat will seize up and turn tough. I use a damp kitchen towel to properly hold the pressure release valve for slow-release.
Add canned black beans that have been drained and rinsed. Then, stir in a corn starch slurry to thicken it. Bring it back up to a simmer for a few minutes. Turn the pressure cooker off to let the meat rest. The stew will thicken up more as it stands.
What do you serve feijoada with?
This saucy stew is great over brown rice or by itself. Serve with fresh orange and lime slices, sliced fresh jalapeno, diced red onion and cilantro sprigs.
For another delicious pressure cooker stew recipe, be sure to try:
Helpful tools and equipment to make Feijoada (Brazilian Beef Stew) (Affiliate Links):
- 4 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 Poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
- 12 large cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 1/2 pounds chuck stew meat
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 package (14-ounce) kielbasa, halved and sliced
- 1 cup orange juice
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 can (15-ounce) diced canned tomatoes, undrained
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons hot chili powder
- 2 cans (15-ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 tablespoons corn starch mixed with 3 tablespoons water
- Brown rice (optional)
- Jalapeno slices
- Finely chopped red onion
- Orange and lime wedges
- Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in an electric pressure cooker on the "saute" setting. Add the onion and poblano pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until beginning to soften, approximately 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook briefly until fragrant. Turn pressure cooker off.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Season the beef with salt and black pepper. Brown the beef in batches, being careful not to crowd the pan, adding remaining 1 tablespoon oil as needed. Transfer each batch to the pressure cooker.
- Add kielbasa, orange juice, beef broth, tomatoes, vinegar and chili powder and stir to combine.
- Secure the lid on the pressure cooker. Set pressure cooker to "High" and let the pressure cooker do its thing for 21 minutes.
- Release the pressure as s-l-o-w-l-y as possible. Stir in black beans and corn starch slurry. Set pressure cooker to "simmer" and simmer gently until thickened. Let stew rest for 5 minutes to thicken more.
- Serve over brown rice (optional) with jalapeno slices, chopped red onion, orange and lime wedges and cilantro sprigs for garnish.
ALTERNATE COOKING METHODS:
SLOW COOKER: Saute onion, pepper and garlic as directed. Transfer to slow-cooker. Brown beef as directed and add to slow-cooker. Add remaining ingredients (except black beans) and cook on High 4 hours or Low 8 hours. Add the corn starch slurry near the end. Stir in black beans and heat through.
STOVETOP: Cook on Low 2 hours or until beef is tender. Add black beans and corn starch slurry and simmer gently until thickened.
OVEN: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cover securely and braise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Add black beans and corn starch slurry and simmer gently on the stovetop until thickened.
Amount Per Serving Calories 837Total Fat 42gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 28gCholesterol 246mgSodium 1401mgCarbohydrates 37gFiber 6gSugar 11gProtein 80g