Feijoada à Transmontana – Portuguese Bean Stew


Feijoada, is Portugal’s version of Chili, perfect for your next big party!

It originated around the 14th century in the Northern region of Portugal. Generally, Feijoada is made with white beans but in the Tras os Montes region, red kidney beans are used.

During that time meat was scarce, so the poor peasants began using every part of the pig as a staple in their diets along with beans and cabbage which were easily available.

This dish is great served with classic Portuguese rice recipe and your favorite Portuguese Bread. If you want to get really adventurous try making home made Pao Caseiro!

It’s one of those dishes that taste even better the next day! Enjoy!

Makes 12 -15 servings


Note: You can use all of the following ingredients or use only the meats that you like. You can omit the knuckles, ears etc.

2 lbs baby back ribs (cut into small riblets)

2 lbs chourica sausage (cut into slices)

1 lb blood sausage (if desired) (cut into slices)

1 lb ( presunto, smoked shoulder ham, or salted pork belly cut into 2 inch strips)

2 lbs pig hocks or knuckles, pig ears, (optional)

1 small regular cabbage, savoy cabbage or any green leafy cabbage (cut into quarters)

2 carrots (sliced)

1 large onion finely (chopped)

2 large cloves garlic (chopped)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon salt

teaspoon sweet paprika

teaspoon cumin powder

2 or 3 large 32 oz cans cooked kidney beans

1/2 cup crushed tomatoes


The night before cooking, salt the ribs, wash the knuckles in cold water, salt them,  and store in fridge overnight to absorb the salt.

The next day, cook the knuckles in a large pot of unsalted water for at least 1 1/2 hours or until they’re easy to cut apart. Reserve the liquid for later.

Meanwhile, saute onions, garlic, and bay leaf in the olive oil for about 5 min. Add ribs, pork belly and paprika.

Let them cook for about 5 minutes stirring them so they don’t stick to pan.

Add 2 cups of cooking liquid from the knuckles and let the ribs cook for another 20 minutes, stirring once in a while.

Add the rest of the meats (chourica, presunto, ham, knuckles) chopped cabbage, carrots,  and tomato sauce.


Stir gently and let them cook for about 30 minutes. Add the kidney beans, blood sausage and cabbage and cook for another 10 minutes.


Stir the pot gently so you don’t break up the beans or the cabbage. Taste, and add more salt if desired. Cook until the cabbage is tender. Leave pan on low heat until ready to serve




Here’s a video the acclaimed Portuguese Chef from Tras os Montes – Marco Gomes executive chef at Fox Velha, Porto, Portugal – preparing Feijoada à transmontana on RTP – Praça da Alegria.

Marco Gomes is passionate about using farm to table ingredients in the traditional recipes.

“I was born in the interior of Portugal where cooking was part of everything,” he said. And its these roots that he goes back to in the kitchen. “I give the food a different look but I keep the traditional flavors. It’s important to be innovative without losing the traditional flavors.” Marco Gomes

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

two × four =