Speedy Feijoada

From: Brazil


  • 1 medium diced onion

  • 1 tsp of tomato paste

  • 1 tsp of kosher salt

  • 6 minced cloves of garlic

  • 2 cans of cooked black beans

  • 200 gr of smoked sausage (chorizo) cut into chunks

  • 5 stripes of smoked bacon cut into lardons

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tsp of marjoram

  • black pepper to taste

  • olive oil

  • water


Serves 8-10 people


First, make Brazilian sofrito, adding olive oil and sauté the onions until transparent, 2-3 minutes. Then add the garlic and stir it until fragrant.

Add the sofrito to a blender, add the tomato paste, marjoram, 5-6 tsp of canned cooked beans and a bit of salt and water to easier the mix. Turn on the blender to make a purée.

In a big pan fry the chunks of bacon and sausage until lightly browned.

Add the sofrito purée to the meat, with the rest of the beans (and its water) and add the bay leaves.

Add water until fully covered, add the black pepper and salt if needed. Stir a bit to mix it all together.

Bring it to boil and then reduce the heat.

Let it boil for around 20 to 30 minutes, until the desired thickness, mixing from time to time.

Adjust the salt and pepper and turn off the heat.


Serve it with white long rice and Brazilian farofa.
I personally like just rice and a fried egg on top!
If you want, you can add other sausage styles like salami, pepperoni, etc. You can also use other pork smoked parts, ribs... In Brazil, it is common to use barbecued pork leftovers.

Mussels in white wine broth

From: Mix


  • one table spoon of butter

  • one chopped onion

  • one or two garlic cloves - chopped or pressed

  • one or two cups of white wine with high acidity

  • 50 to 100 ml of cream

  • 1 kg of fresh/frozen whole mussels

  • freshly ground pepper

  • salt


4-5 servings as a starter / 2 servings as a main course


melt (not brown!) the butter in a big pot
add the chopped onions and let them simmer in the butter on low heat for a few minutes so that they do not brown
add the garlic and some fresh pepper and let it simmer for two minutes
add the wine and bring everything to a boil - the longer you boil the wine the more acidity gets lost; therefore a short period is recommended
now add the cream and continue to let it boil for two minutes
add salt to taste
finally, add the mussels, close the lit and let it boil on low for 5 minutes or so
the dish is ready if the mussels start opening.


  • this is a quick dish and can be done within 20 minutes (if all ingredients are prepared)

  • play around with the ingredients to get a broth that is to your liking: richness, acidity, spiciness, etc. Don't forget that the broth will only get the typical mussels flavour at the end when the mussels are added

  • ensure that you have fresh/frozen whole mussels - it is important that they have not been pre-cooked

  • half mussels can be used but are not as tasty

  • the wine I use to cook this dish: Austria: Grüner Veltliner; South Africa/New Zealand/Chile: Sauvignon Blanc

  • adjust the amount of wine as to how mild or strong you want the acidity in your broth

  • adjust the amount of cream as to how rich/creamy you'd like your broth

  • if you like parsley, sprinkle a bit on top before serving

  • serve with a French loaf/baguette to enjoy the broth 🙂

Francesinha (aka your doctor's worst nightmare)

From: Portugal


  • For the sauce:

    • 500ml beer

    • ½ glass ruby Port wine (and drink ½ glass yourself)

    • 1 tablespoon whiskey

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil

    • 100g tomato puree

    • 2 tablespoons corn flour dissolved in 1 glass of milk;

    • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

    • hot sauce

  • For the sandwich:

    • 8 slices of soft bread

    • 4 thin beef steak (small and thin)

    • 4 pork sausage ("linguiça" is the best)

    • 4 slices of any smoked sausage you like (ex. salami)

    • 4 slices of ham

    • 16 slices of cheese

    • 4 eggs


Serves 4 people


Place a medium saucepan over low to medium heat.
Mix all ingredients (the order doesn't really matter but if you follow the order described in the ingredients it will work perfectly!).
Keep stirring and bring the sauce to a boil. The texture should be similar to a gravy sauce, but slightly more liquid.
Turn to (really) low heat and stir it every once in a while. Once the sandwich is ready, you will need the sauce to be warm.

Place a frying pan over high heat.
Grill the steaks and the sausages.
Gently toast the bread slices (the goal is not to have a hard toast, rather just slightly toasted).
Fry the eggs.

Start putting the Francesinha together on a plate that is "deep" enough to carry sauce and can go to the over:
Place one slice of bread
Then the steak
Then the ham
Then the sausages
Cover with another slice of bread
Cover the sandwich with 4 slices of cheese
Place the fried egg on top of the sandwich
Cover it with the sauce
Take it to the oven for 5 min (180º) for a final touch

Serve it with a side of French fries as if cholesterol doesn't exist. #yolo


People from Porto are extremely passionate about francesinhas.
I have witnessed endless passionate discussions about where to eat the best francesinha in town, so when you meet a Portuense, don’t get surprised if they give you completely different opinions on the matter.

Czech Svickova na smetane

From: Czech Republic


  • 3 pounds beef (1.4 kg) e.g. top blade

  • fat bacon for larding meat

  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons lard

  • ground pepper

  • salt

  • 6 cups water (1,45 l)

  • Vegetables for Svickova base:

    • 2 carrots

    • 2 parsley root

    • 7 ounces celeriac (200 g)

    • 3 onions

    • 1 apple

    • 1/2 stick butter (55 g) unsalted

    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 g)

    • 1/2 cup vinegar 5% acidity (80 ml)

  • Spices:

    • 6 bay leaves

    • 10 allspice balls

    • 10 peppercorns

  • Roux:

    • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

    • ½ stick butter (55 g) unsalted

  • To finish Svickova

    • 1 cup heavy cream (240 ml) at least 30 % fat content

    • 1 lemon

    • ground pepper

    • salt


Serves 6 people


  1. Lard the beef with stripes of fat bacon:
    Cut fat bacon into 1/3 inch thick and about 4 inch long pieces and put them into a freezer for 30 minutes to harden them.
    Use a thin knife with a long edge and make some holes into the meat.
    Stick your index finger inside each hole and wiggle it so the hole enlarges.
    You can make the holes into both sides of the beef.
    Once you have the holes ready, press in stripes of fat bacon.
    For a better shape, you can tie the irregular-shaped meat with a cooking string (kitchen twine).
    After the meat is larded (and tied if you tied it), salt and pepper it properly from all sides.

  2. Prepare the vegetables and spices:
    Peel the carrot, parsley root, and celeriac, dice into ½ inch pieces.
    Peel onions and chop them roughly. Peel an apple and dice it.
    If possible, tie the spices tightly in a clean canvas; you will place the canvas with spices into a pot later.

  3. Brown the beef:
    In a large heavy pot, melt lard over higher heat and sear the beef from all sides until golden brown. Remove the browned meat and set it aside.

  4. Sautée the vegetables:
    Use the same pot which we used to prepare the meat. Reduce temperature to medium heat, add butter and any leftover fat bacon from larding.
    Add diced carrots, parsley root, and celeriac. Cook until slightly golden, stirring occasionally.
    Throw chopped onions to vegetables and cook until lightly golden. Add a diced apple and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
    Add sugar, mix, and let it melt while stirring.
    Pour in vinegar, mix, and let vinegar evaporate, so that there are only vegetables and some fat on the bottom of the pot.
    Add 1 teaspoon of salt and mix it.

  5. Cooking beef:
    Return the browned beef to a pot, pour over hot water until you have the meat almost submerged.
    Add 1 teaspoon of salt and spices.
    Count the number of bay leaves if you add them to the pot freely! You have to remove them all later before the final mixing of Svickova sauce.
    Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a minimum. Cover with a lid and allow it to simmer for 2,5 hours.
    Remove the spices, especially all bay leaves. Remove ¼ of vegetables and discard them. If you left all the vegetables in the sauce, it would taste too much like the vegetables, and it would be too dense.
    Take out the beef and keep it in a warm place.

  6. Making roux:
    In a pan, melt butter on medium heat.
    Add flour, frequently mix until lightly golden.
    Get a sieve, put roux in it, submerge into the Svickova and press roux through the sieve. Continuously mix the roux in the sauce.
    Bring the pot back on a stove, let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
    Stir occasionally because the roux tends to sit down and stick to the bottom of the pot. The roux loses its floury taste after about 15 minutes of simmering. It thickens the sauce, whose taste will be very smooth.

  7. Finishing Svickova:
    Add heavy cream into sauce; no more cooking!
    Mix everything with an immersion blender and strain the sauce in a clean pot. Season with lemon juice and salt to your liking.
    Serve with bread dumplings and a slice of beef.


On the second day, Svickova tastes even better!