Long week? Feeling stressed about those deadlines? Can’t get a moment’s peace because the kids keep arguing?
In that case, come with me. Kick off your shoes and slip on your sandals. Loosen your tie and grab your favourite holiday play list (which I hope has at least a few Gypsy Kings songs in there..) and let’s go to Portugal…
Have you seen those big Mediterranean family meals that often appear on films or cooking shows? You know the ones I mean – a long, rustic, wooden table groaning with dishes of wonderful looking food, boards of cheese, crusty bread, bottles of wine scattered here and there… All under the shelter of a pergola covered in beautiful flowers or vines. Family and friends gathered to enjoy the home cooked food as well as each others company and lively conversation…
Well pack your bags because that’s where I’m taking you with this recipe! Feijoada, a traditional Portuguese dish, is perfect for such an occasion. It’s absolutely bursting with flavour, but instead of you toiling for hours in the kitchen, the ingredients do all the hard graft for you – giving you more time to sit outside, letting the warm breeze soothe your weary brow and sipping red wine till the worries of the week just drift away…aaaah….
You will need:
1 tbs olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 cooking chorizo (the long, thin kind)
400 g diced pork (from leg)
2 bay leaves
1 x 400g tin borlotti beans in water
1 x 400g tin pinto beans in water
1 x 400g tin mixed beans in water
- Heat the oil in a large pan and then add your onions, softening them for around 10 minutes
- Now add the garlic and the chopped chorizo and cook for a further 10 mins until the chorizo has released its gorgeous oils and started to colour slightly
- Add the pork and the tins of beans, INCLUDING their liquid
- Bring to a simmer, pop a lid on and leave on a low heat for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Best left over night but also fine to tuck into straight away!
The recipe itself has been a family favourite ever since it was passed on by a great family friend from Madeira. It works brilliantly in summer, served with crusty bread and a simply dressed salad but its robust flavours are also wonderful in winter. A steaming bowl of this with some rice, greens and a big glass of red will bring you deep comfort on those chilly winter days.
So, call your nearest and dearest, grab your biggest pan and crack open a bottle or 2 of red! You’ve got a Mediterranean feast to attend.