Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The best Beans (Feijão) and Rice you ever had (with tomato and onion salad)

Do not turn your nose up at this dish until you've tried it. It gives new meaning to the "beans and rice." This is my family's go-to dish and one of the only things I know how to make from heart. When we have company, chances are beans and rice might make an appearance. 

The beauty of this dish is in its flexibility. Really all you need is a pound of beans and some meat. It can be leftover barbecue, leftover steak, bacon, sausage, whatever. The more meat you have, the better it will taste (and the less salt you'll need). If you have an onion to add, even better. 

But most importantly, you need that orange. You won't even believe what that orange juice does to the beans.

This recipe is adapted from my collection of Brazilian recipes. Today I made it with leftover beef brisket from our Cinco de Mayo party last week. So here's what you need:

1 lb. of beans, soaked overnight
1 lb. meat such as brisket, smoked sausage (sliced), ham hock
1/4 lb. bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
2 oranges, juiced (I had a really big one so I only used one)
2-3 beef bouillon cubes

I have a pressure cooker from Brazil that I use to cook my beans, but I still always give them an overnight soak. If you have a pressure cooker, this would be the time to use it. If you don't, pull out a nice heavy pot that has a good seal on it. The better the seal and the younger your beans, the sooner they'll cook.

These are my beans after soaking all night.

And this is my pressure cooker! Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done.

If you're using a pressure cooker, you only need half an hour to cook those beans (make sure you leave time for the pressure to drop or you won't be able to open the lid). If you use a pot, give yourself between 3-4 hours. The last thing you want is hard beans.

Draining off the water is optional. I don't. Some people say the bean water is what gives you gas. I haven't noticed and I'm lazy. Easy is good. :)

Put the beans and meat in your desired pot. For the pressure cooker, I'm assuming you know how to use it. Bring it up to pressure and then let it come down. For a regular pot, bring it to a boil. Put the lid on and lower the heat to medium-low. Feel free to check your beans after 2-3 hours, but bring it back to a boil each time before you put the lid on.

While the beans cook, make your tomato and onion salad. This is so good and the tartness compliments the beans perfectly! I sometimes throw in a cucumber but I didn't have any today. 

1/2 large onion, diced (you can add more if you like)
2 C tomato, diced (I used grape tomatoes because that's what I had, but it can be any)
1/4 C vinegar (I used white)
1/4 C olive oil

Dice your onion and tomatoes. Toss them together in a bowl. Add the vinegar and oil. Yep, it's really that easy.


Make sure you start your rice, too, whether in a rice cooker or on the stovetop.

While the beans finish cooking, toss your bacon into a frying pan. Let it cook up crispy and add your onions. Saute them in the bacon grease. Juice your orange. Add the juice and beef bouillon to the beans (start with two cubes. Add the third after tasting, if it's needed). When the onions are translucent, add the bacon and onions to the beans.

 Let everything simmer for about ten minutes so the flavors blend. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with rice and the tomato and onion salad.

You can thank me later. :)



  1. This sounds yummy, and the pic is so inviting, too! Life's simple pleasures!


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