We are on our last night of the Baja Ha Ha, our rally from San Diego down the Pacific coast of Baja to Cabo San Lucas. It’s been a wonderful rally. We made some friends. We drank some beers (and cocktails ;). Last night was an especially eventful night. The rally through a party on the coast of Bahia Santa Maria, a sizeable event with food and booze and a band that had driven across Baja from La Paz. I finally met people closer to my own age, which (let’s be honest) was a glorious god sent treat amidst this current sea of well-aged sailors. Joe, Jo and Ben invited us to do some exploring along the beach. Finally, exploring! These folk were very cool wanderers of the world. Originally from Alaska, they have made their way down the coast.
Their presence was such a pleasure that I invited them to dinner. I’m still trying to burn through the various ingredients in our deep freezer before they are all seized at customs. Nobody told me I couldn’t bring meat into this country?!?! Before I dive into last night drunken excuse for a dinner (which has no business being posted because most of it was frozen pre-made appetizers from Costco), let me finish telling you about this party. After returning from my beach adventure, I saw a party raging and my Father and Nathan off in the corner being boring old people. I tell you I will tolerate this no further! No more of this old man lethargy. I pulled my Dad’s hand and dragged him to the dance floor and did the twist. He picked it up fast. We danced until the night began to take over the sky and the grumbling in my stomach began to take over the desire to party on.
We took a panga to the boat and cooked up a feast. I made crab cakes, grilled chili lime fish, scallops wrapped in bacon, deep fried cauliflower and broccoli, and stewed black beans and quinoa. It was delicious; however, the black beans ignited a desperate yearning for a nostalgic dish of my childhood, Feijoada. So today, we took off. Down the coast to Cabo, with rampant winds to our stern, we’ve been soaring through the water. Our speed over ground even hit 11 knots while experimenting with a wing on wing method. We used the spinnaker pole to stabilize our genoa thus making this tricky maneuver a lot more doable in the quickly darkening night. I also finally got a hang of driving with a spinnaker up. It only took me the entire trip! Overall, today was a great day of sailing, albeit a little bumpy.
Still needing to burn through more of the contents of my freezer, I decided to make the Brazilian national dish (or really as close as I can get to it with what I got), feijoada completa. When on a bumpy ride, I find the best method of dinner preparation is either a roast or a pressure cooker. With a roast, you stick it in the oven and know it’s not going anywhere. With a pressure cooker, that lid is literally sealed on there. So if the pot of braised lamb did go flying, you go over and pick it up and put it back on the damn stove. However, if it really goes flying, that honker would most likely crack or otherwise damage our beautiful teak interior. I wasn’t about to let that happen on my watch. I sat in front of the stove with this massive pressurized pot of meaty black bean stew ready for it to fall. With both my oven mits on, I was ready for a foul ball. But I’ll be honest, it never even came close.
Feijoada Completa (At Sea Version)
½ lbs Ribeye Steak, butchered into stew meat (or just use stew meat)
½ lbs Pork Belly
2 lbs Chicken Andouille Sausage
2 cups Ragu Sauce (I used the leftovers from a previous sauce or substitute with a can of tomatoes)
2 Onions, diced
2 Poblanos, diced
1 Serrano, diced
1 Head of Garlic
¼ c Butter
¼ c Bacon Fat
5 cans of Black Beans
½ tsp Cumin
1 tsp Paprika
2 Bay Leaves
1 tbsp Salt
Melt the butter in the pan over medium heat. Add bacon fat. It is going to smell real good at this point. Add the onions. Reduce the heat to low. Cook covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Add everything except the sausages, salt and 3 of the 5 cans of black beans. Bring to high pressure (I’d recommend 15 psi). Cook under pressure for 25 minutes. Release pressure. NEVER OPEN A PRESSURE COOKER WHILE IT IS UNDER PRESSURE. Open the sucker and take in the delicious scent of my childhood growing up in Brazil. Also, make sure to open the pan so the steam goes away from you. Otherwise, you’d have a super scalding facial. Add the rest of the ingredients. Allow to simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Best served over rice and with a side of gout. Bon Appétit!