Brazil is a rice-and-bean nation. This duo is the backbone of every household in the country. Brazilians like their rice quite loose, never sticky, and that’s why we wash it beforehand. We also never stir during the cooking process. When looking for a meaty or smoky flavor in your beans, you can add bacon or sausage. The flavor of cooked beans improves after a day or two in the refrigerator. One pot of cooked beans can last for 3 to 4 days and it’s definitely something you can make ahead of time.
The Brazilian Kitchen by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz; Kyle Books (2010)
|2 cups white rice (such as basmati or jasmine)||1 medium onion, finely chopped|
|2 teaspoons kosher salt||Extra kosher salt|
|4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil||Freshly ground black pepper|
|2 cloves garlic, minced||3 fresh bay leaves|
|1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced||1-2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce|
|1 pound dried black beans (or red kidney, or pinto), picked over and rinsed (but not soaked)|
Rinse the rice in cold water to wash away the excess starch.
Bring 3 cups of water, the rice, salt, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and 2 cloves minced garlic to a boil in a heavy saucepan, tightly covered. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, covered, until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let stand, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Place the black beans in a pressure cooker and cover with tap water by 2 inches. Lock the lid and bring to a boil. When you hear the sound of the pressure cooker in full gear, reduce the heat to medium-low. (It is very important to maintain a constant gentle pressure because the pressure keeps increasing as the boiling point of the water increases.) Check the beans after 25 to 30 minutes; they should be tender, but not mushy. The water will be dark but still clear. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a saucepan and cook the onion over medium heat until soft, about 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of finely minced garlic and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Immediately pour the beans and liquid into the pan, then add the salt and pepper and bay leaves. Simmer the beans on a gentle heat until the liquid becomes thicker and glossy, 15 to 20 minutes. Check the seasoning and add the Worcestershire sauce to taste. Serve over the rice.
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