Black Beans and Meats Stew
2 lbs. dried black beans (free of debris and rinsed) cooked in:
1 pint beef stock + about 1 ½ pints of cold water
1 small onion, peeled & scored, left whole
1 head of garlic, left whole
1 large bay leaf
1 small Malagueta pepper, left whole (optional)
2 cups onions, finely chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 fresh bay leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lb. dried beef, wax removed, thinly sliced
1-2 lbs. country style pork ribs, cut into individual pieces
1 ea. Calabresa sausage, thinly sliced
½ lb. smoked bacon, baked, crumbled
Navel oranges, sliced
Farofa (toasted manioc flour)
Place beans in a medium heavy pot. Add the stock plus enough water to more than just cover the beans (start with 1 part beans to about 2 ½ parts liquid). Add the small onion, whole head of garlic, bay leaf and Malagueta pepper (if using), and bring to a quick boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 2 ½ hours, adding more water from time to time during cooking time. Puree or mash about one cup of beans and liquid. Set aside. **
Soak dried beef overnight to remove excess salt, changing the water at least twice during soaking time. Blanch meat for a few seconds to remove any residual wax, if needed. Cut meat against the grain into small thin slices. Braise the beef in enough water to cover about ¼-1/2 of the bottom of the pan until tender, about 30-45 min. Set aside.
Braise the remaining meats the same way and individually (the pork ribs and sausage). Cook the ribs until tender (about 1 hour) and the sausage until plump (about 20-30 min.). Meats will continue to cook and tenderize once in the stew. Set aside.
Heat about two tablespoons of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and bay leaves and cook, stirring a few times until the onions are softened and medium brown, about 5-9 minutes. Add the garlic and cook one minute. Add this mixture to the beans, all the cooked meats without their liquid and the bacon, and the bean puree. Taste and season. Cook to combine flavors and stirring from time to time, about 20-30 minutes or longer. The longer it cooks, the better it will taste! Taste again and adjust seasonings, if needed. If the stew is too thick, add some liquid from the braised meats.
Serve with traditional sides: vinagreta (spicy salsa), white rice, kale, and oranges.
**Note: alternatively, soak the beans overnight or cook in a slow cooker in the high setting for 2 1/2 hours or until soft.