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  • Writer's pictureKay Redrup


Way back in 1983 my step-mother's boss (man number 1) invited us to his farewell party. He was married to a Brazilian woman and they were moving back to her homeland. At the dinner they cooked us Feijoada. It was delicious but my father (man number 2) went away musing over how to elevate it further. He changed the ingredients a little to suit what was available in the UK at the time, and blew the dish out of the stratosphere. Today, in Australia, man number 3 responded to my statement that I would cook dinner for the family tonight with, "There was a dish you used to make, make in London (in the 80s) that I adored. I can't remember exactly what it was, but. It was delicious", (not a helpful, description), but he went on, "there was different meat and it was black".

"Brazilian hotpot" I exclaimed. Not technically black, at least not the way I cook it but there are black elements to the dish. So, in honour of these 3 men, here it is, a version of 3 people's recipe (my own included).


(quantities can be varied as well as ingredients)

400grams pork, (shoulder or belly)

1 large onion, chopped finely

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2-3 tablespoons wine or cider vinegar.

(Marinade these ingredients, overnight or at least 20 mins).

6 rashes streaky bacon, sliced

sausages (total 600 grams), a mixture of chorizo style, frankfurter type or herbed breakfast sausage (basically anything you like). Even salami works.

1, 200g tin black beans, or dried, soaked overnight and cooked till soft.

1, 200g tin black-eyed beans, or dried, soaked overnight until soft.

2 tablespoons Chinese black brean sauce (my father's secret ingredient).

A little oil.

500g water

If using breakfast type sausages (the ones you usually fry or grill), Fry them up first to brown. Remove and cut into slices. If large cut the slices in half. Chorizo or salami type sausages cut into smaller pieces. Slice the frankfurter type sauces, if using those.

Add the sliced bacon to the pot where the sausages were and fry until colored a little. Add in the marinaded pork and cook that until most of the liquid has reduced. Add water and the black bean sauce to the pan and simmer the pork covered until cooked. If using belly pork it may take longer, add more water if necessary. Add all the sausage pieces and cook for a further 15 minutes on simmer. Drain the beans and add to the pan. Stir. Add more black bean sauce, if necessary. Season. if necessary (I find the bacon and the sausages contain a fair amount of salt (as does the black bean sauce, that it's rarely needed).

I haven't cooked this dish since the 80's (lack of pork in Turkey being the main issue). However, I have made it with beef and used cured pastirma (beef bacon), sucuk (Turkish salami sausage, and hotdog sausage. I always have a supply of Chinese black bean sauce but if you can't find that, miso paste might work.

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