Feij„o tropeiro
(Brazilian Cowboys' Beans)

This is a traditional dish from the state of Minas Gerais. Mineiros seem to have figured out more ways of preparing beans than anyone else in Brazil. Another favorite of mine is Tutu ŗ Mineira. This recipe comes to us courtesy of renowned chef Yara Roberts from Paraty.

3 cups of red beans

1 bay leaf

1 clove garlic, whole

1/2 cup of olive oil

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups onion, diced

8 cloves garlic finely sliced and sautéed til golden, or 1 cup diced bacon, fried until crisp

1 cup green bell pepper, diced

1 cup red bell pepper, diced

3 eggs

2 cups farinha de mandioca (uncooked manioc meal)

salt and pepper

To garnish:

2 oranges, peeled and sliced

1 cup chopped scallions

1 sprig of parsley

Place the beans in a large pot with 1 clove garlic and the bay leaf with water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the beans, remove garlic clove and bay leaf, add cold water enough to cover and bring to simmer. Cook the beans until tender but not soft, adding water as needed. Drain the beans and reserve the juice. Beat the eggs lightly and scramble in a small skillet with a little bit of oil. Reserve the eggs, keeping them warm.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and sautť the onion and garlic until wilted. Add the bell peppers, salt and pepper and stir. Let the peppers cook for a couple of minutes. Add the beans and mix well. Stir in the manioc flour, pouring slowly. If it gets too dry, you can add a little of the juice. Add the scrambled eggs and mix them with the beans. Arrange the feij„o tropeiro on a platter and sprinkle with the bacon or the fried garlic, whichever you prefer. Decorate with the chopped scallions and the sprig of parsley. Serve with Brazilian white rice. Serves 8.

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