Only a few ingredients are necessary to make a hearty and nutritious pot of Brazilian Black Beans.
Beans: A Staple Food
Beans are incredibly nutritious and full of flavor, but so often, here in the States we don’t know how to cook beans to really make them shine.
Sure, we like to purée them and use them as dip or additives, like hummus or re-fried beans. In the summer, we use beans as the vehicle for sweet and sticky sauces when we serve baked beans at our cookouts or potluck dinners. But, can you really taste the beans in baked beans? They’re all about the sauce.
The idea of having just beans as side or as the main element of the meal is something that most Americans find a bit foreign.
Brazilian Black Beans
Beans (feijão) are an incredibly important part of the Brazilian food culture. Typically they are served over rice for lunch (typically the big meal of the day) with vegetables and meat, and then leftover beans and rice are eaten for a light, but filling dinner.
The most common bean found in Brazil is a type similar to the pinto bean, known as feijão carioca, but black beans are widely used the the South East (particularly in Rio de Janeiro), and they hold a special place in Brazilian hearts because they are the key ingredient in Brazil’s national dish, feijioada, a hearty been stew with beef and pork.
We will be sharing a recipe for feijioada another day, but for today we have a simple, daily style preparation for Brazilian black beans.
Bacon and a few aromatic ingredients are all you need for a warm and comforting, hearty and filling dish.
Brazilian Black Beans
- 1 c black beans, dry, soaked overnight and drained
- 3 slices bacon
- ½ onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- Saute bacon in a large, high sided skillet (cast iron works well). Remove the bacon once crisp and drain most of the bacon grease from the pan. Add the diced onions and saute over medium high heat until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add minced garlic and saute until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
- Add bay leaf and soaked, drained beans to the pan. Crumble the bacon and add it to the pan. Add enough water to cover the beans by about a half inch.
- Cover the pan and simmer until the beans are tender, roughly 1 hour, checking occasionally and adding water if necessary.
- Season with salt to taste and serve warm as a side dish or a protein-rich main with rice.*
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Sarah is one of Curious Cuisiniere’s founding duo. Her love for cultural cuisines was instilled early by her French Canadian Grandmother. Her experience in the kitchen and in recipe development comes from years working in professional kitchens. She has traveled extensively and enjoys bringing the flavors of her travels back to create easy-to-make recipes.