My husband served his mission in Brazil, so he loves Brazilian beans and rice. I have been trying to find a good recipe since we got married 7 years ago, but to no avail. At Thanksgiving we visited my sister-in-law and met her friend that is from Brazil and she told us about how she makes it and promised to get us the recipe. We finally got it yesterday. And lucky enough for me, it included peppers! Here is the recipe:
Brazilian Beans and Rice
For a traditional lunch, serve rice and beans with a green salad with tomatoes and Italian vinaigrette dressing (not ranch) and meat, as below.
The beans (crockpot style):
1 lb bag dry beans, pinto or black (or canned--but watch the salt--none my be needed)
2 bay leaves
copious amounts of water
2-3 T olive oil
smoked sausage or 1/2 package bacon (optional)
1/2 of an onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, pressed
salt and pepper, to taste
2 beef bullion cubes
Mrs Dash, to taste (optional, no pepper needed if using Mrs Dash)
Seasoning salt (optional, without lemon)
Whatever you like to season with as long as it has no lemon
bell pepper, 1 1/2 inch wide strip chopped finely (optional)
a little cilantro, to taste (optional)
Look through your beans before rinsing them to make sure to remove small pebbles or other debris. Rinse well. Soak for 1/2 hour in plenty of water. Rinse again and pour the beans into a crockpot. Add the bay leaves. Cover with about 5 inches of water (at least double the amount of beans) and cook on high, overnight.
Remove the bay leaves. If using meat, saute until cooked and use 2-3 T of its oil (instead of olive oil) to saute the onion, until clear. Add pressed garlic and stir until fragrant. Pour some of the beans/water into the saute pan to dislodge all the yummy bits and pour it all back into the crockpot with the meat. Add bouillon cubes and salt and pepper to taste (or other seasonings, as mentioned above).
Cook until the beans are done, checking every once in a while. When cooked, you can stir in the bell pepper and/or cilantro, if using. Experiment and taste, adjusting the recipe to your liking.
2 cups jasmine rice (old crop, not new crop--from Asian store if possible and definitely not storehouse rice)
4 cups water
2 shallow teaspoons salt
1 T olive oil
1/4 of a small onion
1 clove garlic, pressed
Cook the onion and garlic the same way as above, adding to the rice. Put the rice, salt, and water into a pan and heat to boiling, then simmer, uncovered, until almost all the water is soaked up. Then cover with a lid and finish cooking.
You can make your own vinaigrette with 1 part lemon juice, 3 parts olive oil, cilantro, tomato, green bell pepper (if desired, all cut finely), salt and pepper and Italian seasoning.
At a Mexican store, purchase thinly sliced beef. Pound it out more thinly still. Marinate for an our in olive oil, pressed garlic, and a little salt. Sear meat quickly on each side in a pan on high heat, using a little olive oil in the pan (if using nonstick, no oil needed). Remove meat. Add a few onion ring slices and a little more oil to the hot pan. Saute them quickly, then return the meat to the pan with the onion rings and cook until meat is finished cooking. This can be done with chicken or fish, too.
****I pretty much followed the recipe. I added the bell peppers, but not the cilantro. I didn't have any Mrs Dash, so I used Tony Chachere's spices n' herbs seasoning, but not very much. I used bacon, and after I cooked it I crumbled it into the beans in the crockpot, then used some of the bacon grease to cook the onions. According to my husband the Brazilians never put bell peppers in their beans, so I don't know if I will next time I make it. I think it would be good either way. I got some salad, but we didn't end up eating it. And I didn't get any meat, so we just had the beans and rice. Next time I will probably make 1 1/2 times the rice recipe because we had lots more beans left over than rice. I will have to make more rice to finish the beans.
I would rate this at 5 stars. We actually had friends over for dinner (the husband also served a mission in Brazil) and our friend and my husband both thought this was the most authentic tasting beans and rice they have had since their missions. We all loved it.