Brazilian Beans are somewhat of a national dish. Different from traditional Latin bean dishes with cilantro and lime, this uses white wine vinegar and parsley, more European ingredients from the Spaniards that settled in the region. You may want to enjoy the national drink of Brazil with it, the caipirinha.
1. Soak the beans then cook in a large pot with water and a liberal sprinkle of salt and bayleaves until tender (about hour), or cook them from dry in a pressure cooker on high for 40 minutes. If using a pressure cooker reduce the amount of liquid. You need just enough to cover the beans with an inch to spare. This step can be done up to 3 days in advance, just refrigerate the cooked beans in their liquid until you are ready to make the rest of the recipe.
2. Begin cooking your rice. I sort of cheated and used Carolina Gold Rice because it's so darn delicious, but long grain white rice is traditional.
3. While the rice is cooking, cook the bacon (if you are using) in a pan until the fat renders and it starts to brown. Pour off all but a tablespoon of fat, add the onion and sauté until tender, add the garlic and sauté another minute, adding olive oil as needed to keep the mixture very moist.
4. Mix the onion and garlic mixture with the beans including their liquid and add the vinegar. Cook for 5-10 minutes to meld the flavors and warm the beans if they had been in the fridge. Take a 1/2 cup of the beans and liquid out and blend them in a blender then mix back into the dish to increase the thickness of the broth. Add the parsley, taste, add salt and pepper and additional vinegar if needed. Serve with rice.
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