Brazilian Feijoada: Saturday Comfort Food

In our family when we were kids, Wednesday nights in our family were known as “Spaghetti nights.” Had I been lucky enough to grow up in Brazil, I would have experienced Feijoada Saturdays when the family would have come together and lingered over this hearty, Brazilian casserole. A Brazilian friend told me that their family would make their stew with leftovers from the nights before. The word feijoada comes from the Portuguese for beans, feijão. The smoky, black bean stew that is brewed with a salted and smoked pork and beef. More traditional feijoada can include includes pig’s ears, feet and tails, and beef tongue.

Batuqui on Larchmere is the perfect spot to give feijoada a try. Situated in an old Victorian house, the restaurant is charming and has outdoor seating in the front or back patios. Every time I go, I am welcomed with a warm smile. Start with a Caipirinha, a cocktail I fell in love on my first trip to Brazil for its citrusy, sour flavor. It’s made with cachaca, sugar and lime; cachaca has a unique flavor closest to maybe tequila but with much more depth. If you’re not drinking, start with a Brazilian Guarana soda. While you’re waiting for your feijoada, munch on the Pao De Queijo cheese bread (it’s gluten free!) and their Shrimp Malagueta appetizer–you can soak up the extra sauce with the cheese bread.  (Somehow, and their calamari in a spicy tomato sauce.

Batuqui makes their feijoada with locally sourced bacon, ham, beef, smoked pork loin, smoked kielbasa, and imported linguiça and serve it with the typical rice, farofa, and sautéed collard greens. ($21) I’m a huge fan of coconut and peanut combinations so my second favorite dish is the Xim Xim, a Brazilian stew made with chicken, coconut milk, and carrots, served over rice and topped with roasted peanuts to give it a little crunch. ($19) The Moqueca Baiana is another favorite made with a coconut and tomato sauce and served with Brazilian rice–I like it with fish or shrimp. I never ending up having room for dessert but hope to one indulge in the Coconut Butter Cake. A good reason to come back!

Want to make feijoada yourself? Check out this recipe from the NYTimes.

Batuqui, 12706 Larchmere Blvd, Cleveland, Ohio, OH 44120.

You’ll Feel Like You’re in a Brazilian Forest…
Right Here in Cleveland

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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."