Soak the smoked and salted meats in a large pan overnight. The next morning, drain, rinse, and soak again until ready to cook. In a large heavy stock pot, heat the oil over medium low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes more, until the aroma is released. Tie the bay leaves, parsley, and thyme together to make a bouquet garni, and add it to the pan, along with the dried soaked meats, fresh meats, and the water. Bring slowly to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat and skim the fats and scum from the top. Cook for 1 hour, then add the beans, return to a simmer, and again skim any scum from the top. Simmer for another hour. As each piece of meat becomes fork tender, remove it, starting with the beef chuck and finishing with the salted meats. Place the cooked meats on a platter, cover with aluminum foil, and keep warm in a low oven. Remove all the meat and skin from the pigs trotter and dice it. Discard the bone and add the meat to the beans. Cut the carne seca into 1/2 inch dice and also return it to the beans. Continue cooking the beans for 20 minutes more, or until tender. Remove any fat or gristle from the remaining cuts of meat, then cube or slice it into bitesized pieces. Arrange the sliced chorizo, pork shoulder, bacon, fresh pork, and beef on one side of a large heated platter and place the beans on the other side (if using the smoked tongue, traditionally it should be placed in the center of the platter). Serve hot, accompanied by Green Mineira Style, cooked white rice and orange segments.
c.1997, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved
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