A Brazilian stew 🍲
I don’t usually make a record of improvised recipes I cook but this turned out particularly well and I’d like to be able to repeat it. If I’d planned this properly I’d also have taken a photo of the finished dish 🙁.
500g dried Brazilian carioca beans (or pinto)
1 kg (~12) medium/large carrots
12 vegan sausages
2 red onions
4 cloves garlic
5 sticks celery
1 or 2 red/yellow peppers
1 large courgette
1/4 bottle red wine
8-10 fresh bay leaves
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp smoked paprika (plus extra for roasting the carrots)
fresh and/or dried thyme
Soak the beans overnight then rinse and put in a large pan with plenty of water, 4 or 5 bay leaves and a cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil, boil vigorously for 10 minutes then simmer for about 50 minutes until beans are tender but slightly firm. Do not overcook. Drain and set aside, reserving some of the stock. Discard the bay and cinnamon.
Wash the carrots and trim the tops off - do not peel. Place on a flat roasting tray (or 2 if necessary!). Sprinkle with smoked paprika and season generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil then rub in the oil/paprika mix to coat the carrots completely.
Roast the carrots for about an hour in a 180°C oven. They should be slightly browned and, again, tender but still firm. For the last 20-25 minutes of the cooking add the sausages to the tray, also making sure they get coated with the seasoned oil.
Allow to cool then cut the each sausage into 3 equal sized pieces. Cut the carrots into equivalent lengths.
In a large lidded casserole dish heat some olive oil, add 4 or 5 bay leaves then gently fry the onion, garlic, celery and peppers (all chopped fairly coarsely) until tender. Add the ground coriander and smoked paprika, fry for a couple of minutes more then add the passata, red wine and thyme. Bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Take off the heat, season the sauce with salt and pepper then stir in the drained beans and a little of the reserved bean stock.
Chop the courgette into chunks and add to the casserole dish along with the sausage and carrot pieces. Mix well then cover and place in a 160°C oven. After half an hour check the casserole, stir and add more bean stock if necessary. Reduce the oven to 120°C and cook for another 30-45 minutes.
Just before serving remove the bay leaves, check the seasoning and stir through some chopped fresh coriander.
Served with coarse boulgur wheat, wilted spinach (or other greens) and grated smoked cheese - Applewood if staying vegan.
The vegan sausages I used were by Naked Glory. Any will do as long as they are quite firm and don’t disintegrate into the stew.
Carioca. Beans or feijão are a large part of the Brazilian diet, and pinto beans or carioca are one of the firm favourites. The most popular lunch in Brazil includes a serving of white rice along with cooked beans - so much so that the phrase arroz com feijão the “rice and beans” is a colloquial term used to mean the “basics”.
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