My husbands late Grandmother was an amazing cook, although she really didn't start cooking properly until she settled in Australia, when she was in her 30's. Grans father was a well know and much respected Chinese herbalist and lived a very comfortable life in Hong Kong up until World War 2 and the Japanese occupation.
They had an Amah to help with raising William (Lovely Hubby's Dad) He was most loved and spoiled, Gran often told of when the Amah used to stand in front of the school bus until William was seated, that was the extent of her devotion to William.
The waters were always a bit murky surrounding what happened to Grans first marriage, she really didn't talk about it much, but went on to marry her second husband, Carlos Rodrigues, a Portuguese gentleman and they decided to move to Australia. They settled in Redcliffe a little seaside town 30 minutes from the centre of Brisbane, and they loved it. That marriage didn't last, however they remained good friends until Carlos' passing.
With the combination of Grans and Carlos's heritage, Gran learnt to cook some incredible recipes and todays post is one of those. We know it as Feijoada, Grans interpretation of the dish is very different from the original, but, oh my it is so delicious and just perfect for eating in the cold weather to warm your soul and your toes.
|Ingredients for Feijoada - A large Ham hock, 1.5 kg's each of chicken thighs and pork chops, 3 cans tomato soup, 4 cans red kidney beans, 6 Chorizo sausages and a drumhead cabbage|
|Add ham hock to the largest stock pot you have, add about 2 1/2 litres of water, bring to the boil, turn heat down and let simmer for 30 minutes|
|Drain and rinse the kidney beans and set aside|
|In turns, first add the pork and then the chicken to the pot, bring each meat to a gentle boil, turn heat down and cook each lot of meat for 30 minutes.|
Fish out the ham hock, remove skin and discard. Shred the ham hock meat and return it to the pot. Also fish out the pork bones. Finally, add the shredded cabbage and cook until cabbage has cooked down lovely and soft.
1 large ham hock
21/2 to 3 litres of water
1.5 kg's chicken thigh fillets, cut in half
1.5 kg's pork loin chops, bone left in, fat cut off and cut in half
6 chorizo sausages, cut into 1 cm slices
3 x 400 gram can tomato soup
4 x 400 gram can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 x drumhead cabbage, shredded
In the biggest stock pot you have, add the ham hock and about 2 1/2 litres of water, bring to the boil, turn heat down to medium low and let simmer away for about 30 minutes
Add the pork chops, bring back to a gentle boil, turn heat down to medium low and let simmer away for 30 minutes
Now, do the same for the chicken thigh fillets
Add the drained and rinsed kidney beans, tomato soup and chorizo sausage, give everything a really good stir
Turn heat down to low and let bubble away for up to 6 hours. With the water level, if there is too much liquid, remove lid to reduce, conversely, add more water if you think there isn't enough.
Fish out the ham hock, remove skin and discard. Shred the ham hock meat and return it to the pot. Also fish out the pork bones. Finally, add the shredded cabbage and cook until cabbage has cooked down until it's lovely and soft
Serve this wonderful dish with steamed rice and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. There is one other kinda essential ingredient and that is Maggie Seasoning Sauce, yep it's full of numbers (MSG, sorry about that) and salt but it does add a umami rich flavour to this dish that would be missing if you didn't use it. When people are serving up their dinner, suggest adding just a dash to their serving. It just ups the flavour exponentially. I will let you make the decision on whether to add this sauce or not.
So, there you have it, Feijoada and a bit of family history on the side. What about you, do you have a family dish that is nothing like the original but is just wonderful in every way?