To me, a full plate of arroz e feijão (rice and beans) is more Brazilian than carnaval and futebol, since you know, all I care about is food. Anyway, we already talked about rice here, so today is all about feijão.
The first thing you need to know is, depending on where you are in Brazil the preference for color/type of beans will vary, but it’s importance at the center of the Brazilian table is the same across all regions.
Beans at the Center of the Brazilian Table
And, if you didn’t know, now you do – feijão is at the very center of Brazilian cuisine. Yes, beans of all sorts! There are a number of traditional regional dishes with some kind of feijão as the star of the dish, and you may have even heard of some of them: tutu de feijão, acarajé, baião de dois, feijoada, and so many others. But, when it comes to the basics and the day to day of the average Brazilian, for the most part, the feijão Carioca (Pinto bean) is the most consumed.
How often do you eat beans? Which type is your favorite? Leave a comment and let me know!
Although the Pinto is the most consumed feijão in Brazil, in Rio, where I’m from, the star bean is the Feijão Preto (black beans). My mom, as most Brazilians, would make a big batch of her black beans recipe to last our family several meals. Growing up, we ate some combination of arroz com feijão pretty much every day… with chicken, with fries and a steak, with an egg, with plantains, with farofa… I mean, look at this!!
I have so many memories of coming home from school and hearing the sound of the pressure cooker, and smelling the the garlic and onions frying with bacon. There’s no better smell. That’s the true smell of a Brazilian home!
TIP: Do all your prep while the beans are soaking to make better use of your time. And while the beans are cooking, make some rice to have Brazil’s most traditional meal combo!!
Everyday Black Beans Recipe Step by Step
I get it that when you look at the beans recipe here, you might feel a little overwhelmed. But don’t think, “uhhh… the hell with this, let me just open this can real quick”. I promise this black beans recipe is easy and worth it.
Oookk… so, first you need to “pick” the beans, meaning, you need to pick out all the weird ones (like that pale little fella in the pic below), and the occasional rock or two you might come across.
Then give them a nice rinse.
Then soak the beans for about 30 mins in cold water (to you know… de-fart them…. although… you will probably fart anyway, so just accept that). Anyway, you will notice that some beans will float to the top of the water when you soak them. Also pick them out, as they are ‘weird’ ones (like these little ones in the pic below) that you missed picking before.
After about 30 mins, change the water (as in dump all that water out, then cover it again with new cold water), and soak for another 30 mins.
Meanwhile, while the beans are soaking, do your prep.
Chunk up the sausage.
Psssst – if you’re looking for a meatless black beans recipe, check this one out!
Dice up the bacon.
Then dice the onions, mince the garlic, and gather your spices.
By the way, you’re doing great so far!!
When the beans are all done soaking, remove all the water and add the beans and the sausages to a pressure cooker, or instant pot.
Add the water, cover and cook on manual for 30 mins.
Safely open the pan after 30 mins.
Scoop some of the beans into a bowl.
and check to make sure the beans are soft and fully cooked – like this!
Seasoning Black Beans
When the beans are fully cooked, change the instant pot setting to sauté and let them simmer uncovered. Season with salt and pepper, add the cumin, the vinegar, and the bay leaf to the pot, stir and continue to simmer for about 15 mins. At this point, we want to cook low and slow (stirring occasionally) until the liquid thickens a little.
Meanwhile, add the bacon to a large skillet over medium to high heat, and let them cook until lightly browned.
Add the olive oil to the skilled, then the onions and sautée until transparent, 2-3 mins.
Now, add the garlic to the skillet, stir and sautée until fragrant and lightly golden (careful not to burn).
Add the contents of the skillet to the beans, stir and let it simmer until the beans reach the desired thickness.
See how the liquid has thickened, compared to when we first checked for done-ness (is that a word…??!)
Well, great!! There you go, then! You just made beans!!!!! Ta-daaaaaaa!!!
I know you’ll love this black beans recipe so much!
When you make it, take a picture and share your pot of beans with me on IG by tagging me or using #CookingWithAline
Everyday Black Beans
- 16 oz dry Black Beans
- 1 14 oz Smoked sausage cut into chunks
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ tsp of cumin
- ½ tsp of white vinegar
- 4 strips of smoked bacon cut into lardons
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 whole medium onion diced
- 6 cloves of garlic minced
- Pick, wash, then soak the beans in cold water for 30 mins.
- Change the water, and soak in cold water for another 30 mins.
- Drain beans, then add them to a pressure cooker or instant pot. Add the sausages and 5 1/2 cups of water.
- Close the instant pot, and cook on manual for 30 mins.
- After 30 mins, safely release the pressure and open the pan.
- Change the now open/uncovered instant pot settings to sauté mode, and let the beans simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Season with salt and pepper, add the cumin, the vinegar, and the bay leaf to the pan, stir and continue to simmer for about 15 mins.
- Meanwhile, add the bacon to a large skillet over medium to high heat, and let them cook until lightly browned.
- Add the olive oil to the skillet, then the onions and sautée until the onions are transparent, 2-3 mins.
- Add the garlic to the skillet, stir and sautée until fragrant and lightly golden.
- Add the contents of the skillet into the beans, stir and let it simmer until desired thickness is reached.
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