Meat and Bean Casserole

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Meat and Bean Casserole Not unlike that famous French countryside favorite, cassoulet, feijoada was born of the need to use the whole animal. Of course, like many a dish that sprang from an impoverished class, it uses the cheaper, lower cuts of meat, while those cuts “high on the hog” went to the elite. Ah, you learned something there, didn’t you? As I was saying, those elite, they have no idea what they were missing. The unctuous delicacy of melty, tender meat, the dreamy creaminess of the humble black bean, all together in a symphony of not-being-rich, yet much better fed.

  • Yield: 10 to 12 Servings
  • Total Time: 4 Hours 30 Minutes


  • 4 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz slab bacon, diced
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 12 oz pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 10 oz beef short rib, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 10 oz raw pork sausage links (spicy if you wish)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 15-oz cans black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Bring the water to a boil in a kettle or pot, then drop the heat to maintain a simmer while you work.
  2. Add olive oil to a separate skillet and heat over medium. When the oil begins to shimmer, sauté the bacon until it begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the onion, parsley, and black pepper, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Transfer skillet contents to a baking dish. Add pork, beef, sausage, garlic, and simmering water to the baking dish. Stir to distribute the skillet contents evenly. Tightly seal the top of the baking dish with aluminum foil, and transfer to the oven for 2 hours.
  4. Remove the baking dish from the oven, and carefully remove the foil. Add the beans, salt, and soy sauce to the skillet, distribute evenly, and place the baking dish back in the oven, uncovered, for an additional 2 hours. Stir the mixture occasionally. If it gets too dry, add water ½ cup at a time. The final texture should be creamy.
  5. Remove the baking dish from oven. Serve along with steamed white rice and sautéed greens, such as spinach, kale, or Swiss chard.

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