During the colonial period, troops of cattlemen known as tropeiros were engaged to explore the inland territories of Brazil. On their journeys, they had to carry most of their food with them. The essentials – beans, dried and salted meat, and cassava flour – were typically combined to create the iconic feijão tropeiro, a dish that carries the nickname of the explorers.
- 500 g dried beans (see Note), soaked in cold water overnight
- 250 g smoked bacon, cubed
- 5 eggs
- 2 tbsp pork lard or vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 200 g cassava flour
- 125 g torresmo (pork rind), crumbled
- 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp spring onion, finely chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.
Drain the beans and cook them in a saucepan of boiling water until just tender. Drain and set aside.
Cook the bacon in a large frying pan over a medium heat for 8 minutes, or until crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Break the eggs into the frying pan and cook them in the bacon grease until they are semi-cooked, then vigorously scramble them together. Remove from the heat and chop any unbroken bits of egg.
Transfer the eggs to a plate and set aside. Heat the lard or oil in the frying pan and cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, or until translucent but not browned. Add the drained beans and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the cassava flour to the pan, a handful at a time, stirring constantly. When all the flour has been added, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the crumbled torresmo until well combined.
Gently fold in the bacon, eggs, parsley and spring onion. Serve immediately.
• Use pinto (carioca) beans or any other dried beans.