Brazilian Recipe: Feijão tropeiro

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Feijão Tropeiro, one of the most popular dishes in Brazil!

Eggs, bacon, sausage and beans might seem like the perfect set of ingredients for a traditional English fry-up, but add a sprinkling of farofa (a Brazilian stuffing made with cassava flour) and some kale, and this recipe will instantly bring a little taste of Minas Gerais to your home, without you having to leave the kitchen.

It’s a simple recipe and can be served with roast beef, chicken, fish, or indeed on its own. The secret is to have either a decent smoked sausage or chorizo. And given how easy it is to find pre-cooked beans in the supermarkets these days, it’s even simpler than you might think. The most authentic recipe is one made with carioquinha beans, which personally I love, but the type of bean is really up to you. It’s also delicious made with chickpeas. What’s great is you can add to the dish as you wish, and get really creative. If you’re a vegetarian you can simply substitute the sausage and bacon for paprika – to give it that smoky flavour – and plenty of olive oil. Let’s get on with this heavenly recipe!

Ingredients: (for 4 people)

  • 2 tins of beans – black eye beans or borlotti recommended (470g of cooked beans)
  • 100g of pork belly
  • 50g of bacon
  • 200g of smoked sausage or raw chorizo
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 50g of butter for the farofa and 15g for the egg
  • 6 kale leaves
  • 70g of toasted cassava flour
  • 2 chillies
  • Lime juice (fresh)
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Olive oil

Preparation:

Season the pork belly with a little salt and dice into cubes. Sprinkle a little olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the pork belly to the oil and place the pan on the stove. Begin to fry, being sure to stir continuously. When browned remove the crispy pork belly and place on a plate covered with kitchen paper, so as to remove the excess fat. Set the crackling aside, to be used to finish the dish. (Hide in a place where no one will find it, there is never a shortage of crackling thieves!)

Remove half of the oil from the pan. If you prefer, you can replace all of the oil with fresh olive oil to make the dish a little lighter, but I like to leave the juices from the crackling as it gives everything a special flavour. Remove the skin from the chorizo sausage and chop. Fry in the oil. Cut the bacon and fry along with the chorizo. Add one chopped onion and fry for about two minutes. Then add the chopped garlic. Drain the liquid from the beans and add them to the pan. Mix well. Add the butter, ensuring that all the ingredients come together before gradually adding the flour. I like the beans moist so I don’t usually use too much flour, but if you prefer things a little drier simply add more. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the lime over the beans, and mix. This will bring a light acidity too the dish and give it a fresh, crisp taste.

To make the kale, slice very finely. Add a little olive oil to a pan. When hot add the kale and season with salt and pepper. Mix it all together. Sauté very quickly. When the kale begins to wilt, turn off the heat. It doesn’t take long at all.

Prepare another frying pan with some olive oil and, when hot, add four eggs to fry. When the white of the egg begins to form, add some butter, wait for it to melt, then spoon over the yolk. Season with salt. I like the yolk runny, but each to their own taste.

Slice the chillies into rings.

If you make the recipe in a special pan or clay dish, you can serve straight  from the same one. If not, use a platter and decorate the edges with the kale. Garnish with the eggs, the chillies and the crackling. This is the sort of recipe that grabs you and gives you a great big hug. You and your friends will love it!

 

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Luciana Berry

Luciana Berry’s mission as a chef in the UK is to showcase the exotic flavours and ingredients that are integral to Brazilian cuisine. Luciana is an Ambassador of Brazilian cuisine and culture in the UK mixing modern and classic cooking techniques to deliver impressive yet subtle tastes from a country which until now few other chefs have successfully exploited.

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