I'm a fan of sausage and beans, combined and simmered in pots - this meaty black bean stew is Brazil’s national dish, with as many different versions as there are people cooking it. I’ve seen recipes made with smoked and fresh sausages, corned beef, pork shoulder, ribs and other cuts - there's always plenty of pork, maybe a ham hock or pig's feet if it's really traditional - and sometimes it takes days to make, almost like a cassoulet.
But this streamlined version is simple enough to do after work - and there's only one pot to wash. It's incredibly flavourful, and even better the next day if you plan for leftovers.
1 cup dry black beans
canola or olive oil, for cooking
125 g salt pork, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb, pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb. smoked sausages, thickly sliced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (including stems)
1 cup salsa
salt and pepper
steamed rice (optional)
orange slices (optional)
In a medium saucepan, cover the beans with water by a couple inches and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand while you start the rest of the stew.
Preheat the oven to 300˚F. Set a heavy oven-proof pot or wide, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of oil and cook the pork for 8-10 minutes, until golden. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 more minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Remove from the pan and set aside in a bowl. Add the cubed pork shoulder to the pan and brown all the pieces. Return the salt pork and onions to the pan. Add enough water to barely cover. Cover the pot and cook for an hour.
Remove from the oven, add the smoked sausage and cilantro, drain and add the beans, add the salsa, season with salt and pepper, stir to combine everything well, cover and return to the oven for another 1 ½ hours.
Serve hot, with rice and if you like, sliced oranges. Serves 6.