The Beauty of Beans: My Grandmother's Brazilian Red Beans

September 15, 2015

Like many Latin American diets, rice and beans (or feijão) are the foundation of Brazilian cuisine.  Beans are eaten throughout the country and presented with nearly every meal.  I am concluding this series on beans with a recipe that is very near and dear to my heart.  As a Brazilian-American, my grandmother prepared rice and beans daily for us.  We ate the combination for most lunch and dinners and to tell you the truth, my cousins and I never got sick of it.  To tell you the truth, I miss it.  I miss watching her hover over the stove stirring the pot, tasting the contents every hour or so to make sure the beans were properly seasoned.  She never let anything go to waste, even if it was just two spoonfuls of beans, it was saved for the next day.  So if you are looking for a simple everyday bean recipe, then you will definitely want to try this.

Brazilian Red Beans


1 lb. red beans
2 tsp. vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Step 1: Soak the beans overnight or use the quick soak method.  Drain the beans and set aside.

Step 2: Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add the garlic and onion and cook until ingredients are fragrant and onion appears translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the bay leaf and oregano.  Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Add the beans and stir to combine all ingredients.

Step 3: Cover the beans with water and place the lid on the pot.  Cook the beans for 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are soft but not falling apart.  Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

*Note: you can also cook the beans in a crock pot or crock pot too.

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