Musing with Max

Musing with Max

December 9, 2012


We've been in a bit of a tailspin, and I don't mean this tail.
I'll explain. We are never ever ever lacking food in this house as I have a tendency to stockpile, if you will. Our freezer is usually packed; we shop at Costco and when we start running low by my kooky standards we go and replenish. This in addition to the regular shopping for items that we don't purchase there because frankly I don't know where to store 48 boxes of elbow macaroni. So for the most part what we purchase there tends to be big meat and poultry which I divide double wrap and carefully label. The freezer also contains frozen vegetables, frozen herbs from our garden, tomato sauce made with our Summer tomatoes, homemade pesto, and packages of frozen puff pastry and phillo dough. When hurricane Sandy made it's very unwelcome visit and we lost power we didn't expect to be without it for more than one day, because we are spoiled people. We had cranked up the refrigerator and freezer setting just in case though. So when powerless day two came around we decided we needed to do something with the exaggerated amount of meat and poultry in our freezer and the contents in our refrigerator. Luckily we have two very large coolers, so off we went to the market and bought a bunch of ice dumped it in the coolers, transferred the freezer stuff and put them out on the back porch. The contents of the refrigerator we put inside two heavy duty cardboard boxes and placed them out there too. The temperature was going down which was a double edged sword, bad cause we had no power therefore no heat and good because the food sitting outside was being kept cold. Miraculously the milk never spoiled. As the week without power wore on we were able to cook as if normal for the most part and kept things from spoiling by replenishing the ice a couple of times. When the power finally came back on an entire week later we surveyed our supply. The chickens were somehow still frozen and so was a package of sausage but everything else was defrosting so we had no choice but to throw it all out.

No Max, don't panic, not you.

All of a sudden I was staring at an empty freezer...the horror! We were really busy with a lot of other things and I went to the market a couple of times but it wasn't enough until finally this Friday a trip to Costco was accomplished and the freezer is once again full. So I can make...

Brazilian Feijoada adapted from Marcus Samuelsson

  • 4 cups dried black beans, picked and rinsed
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lb pancetta, cut into medium size cubes
  • 4 pieces of oxtail, about 1 1/4 lb (I didn't have oxtail so I doubled the beef)
  • 1 lb top round, cut into big chunks
  • 1 chorizo (linguica), about 1 lb
  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup leeks, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup scallions, chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Pinch of ground chili pepper
  • Few drops of Tabasco
  • Few drops of Worcestershire

1. Place the beans in a very large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat to medium, and cook, covered, for 1 hour, until the beans are just cooked but not too mushy. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, start preparing meats and vegetables. Saute the oxtail, top round, and sausage in batches, until browned on all sides.
3. Heat the oil in an extra-large Dutch oven pan, and cook the pancetta until lightly crispy.
4. Add the onions, celery, leeks, shallots and scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.

5. Add the garlic and stir to blend with other vegetables. Add the beans and bring to a boil.
6. Add the meats and any accumulated juices from the bowl. Cover the pan and simmer at low heat for about 3 hours, until the meats are tender and falling off the bones. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, paprika, Tabasco and Worcestershire, all to taste.
7. Serve over rice

8-10 servings

We're getting there.


  1. You know, I wondered about your fridge/freezer situation with your lengthy power outage, and I assumed you had to throw out a lot. I am impressed at how resourceful you were, and that raccoons didn't steal everything.

  2. Here you are again. I was missing you.

    I love feijoadoa, love to cook it, love to eat it.

    Crazy you two with the food stocking. Now I know where to head when the Apocalypse comes.

    Tell Mex we'll bring him some treats.

    xo jane

  3. I cannot believe how organised you are Amelia, and how resourceful too. I don't think we'd last more than a day or two, and I'm not sure that's at all a good thing. x

  4. oh yum! I'm very bad with the freezer and now know not to stockpile, as I tend to forget what's in the freezer- out of sight, out of mind!