barbecue beef feijoada with spicy sweetcorn

barbecue beef feijoada

As World Cup fever threatens to take over the globe, we turn to the host nation to provide us with inspiration to get us in the mood. I just love these streets that have been painted to get everyone excited! But one of the most important things is the food: things in bowls where people help themselves are always going to work. Here’s a way of feeding a crowd and keeping with the Latin American theme: my barbecue beef feijoada, made with brisket.

barbecue beef brisket feijaoda

I’ve eaten feijoada a few times and always enjoyed it. But what’s in it? I consulted a Brazilian friend of mine in order to get a few ideas but like many ‘national’ favourites, everyone has a different view on what it should contain. Like shepherd’s pie, chilli con carne or lasagne al forno everybody has their own take in their house that defines the dish. A few patterns emerge: definitely pork, possibly beef, certainly black beans… other than that it’s fair game. Tomatoes or not? Paprika?

beef brisket simmering in feijoadaI went down a route I’ve trodden often, based on cholent. I started with a brisket, rubbed with herbs and spices, then stewed for several hours. The meat is sliced and finished on the barbecue for a charred and smoky flavour. It’s a bold plate of food, and I can see it going down really well at a party where people can spoon it into corn tortillas with pickled vegetables, or served in little pots with a dollop of sour cream. Make sure everyone can tuck in and help themselves, and serve up refreshing, cooling drinks.

I’m not sure how authentic this is – I say that about a lot of my cooking – but it got my São Paulo-based friend excited! Try my barbecue beef feijoada, and let me know what you think!

For further reading I recommend Hot and Chilli’s post on bite-sized feijoada – brilliant!

I was sent some lovely ingredients and shopping vouchers by Knorr (Unilever) to get inspired to make this.

barbecue beef feijoada with spicy sweetcorn

Serves: 6-8


  • 1kg beef brisket, rolled and tied
  • For the rub:
  • 5g Maldon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • For the stew:
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1 litre beef stock (I used Knorr beef stock pots)
  • 250g smoked pork sausage, sliced
  • 140g dried black turtle beans, soaked overnight (any dried pulses you like here would work)
  • For the sweetcorn:
  • 1 sweetcorn cob per person
  • Large knob of butter
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • To serve:
  • 200ml creme fraiche
  • Hot sauce (I like Frank's)
  • Lime wedges


  1. Make sure you've soaked your dried beans overnight before getting started.
  2. Get a frying on a very high heat with a dash of oil. In a pestle and mortar bash the rub ingredients together until you have an ominous terracotta dust. Rub this all over the beef, as thoroughly as you can.
  3. Sear the beef on all sides, building up a lovely colour. Put to one side when done.
  4. In a large casserole dish, gently dry the onions, peppers and carrots in a little oil until softened, then add the remaining stew ingredients and stir until combined. Add the beef and add water as required until just a little of the brisket is peeping out. Cover loosely and simmer for 5 - 6 hours until the brisket is tender - when you put a fork into it it should slide back out easily. Leave covered for 30 minutes to rest. You can light your barbecue and prepare your corn in this time.
  5. Parboil your corn in simmering water for 5 or so minutes. At the barbecue, take a small pan, your brisket and the nearly cooked sweetcorn. Slice your brisket in 1cm slices and place on the barbecue to char on both sides.
  6. Melt the butter in the small pan and add the salt and cayenne. Pop the sweetcorn on the grill and turn occasionally, brushing on the spiced butter. Cook until you have lovely black bits.
  7. Swirl your creme fraiche with hot sauce. Serve the stew, beef and sweetcorn with some lime wedges on the side. Most importantly, start eating!


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