Sometime this week, I received a Facebook message from Sandro, a Brazilian friend whom I hadn’t seen in almost a year.
Sandro invited me to join him and some other friends in his house warming party, to show us his new house, as well as to have some Brazilian food typical of the province from which he hails – Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Housewarming party + good food + drinks? Why not!
Given that I haven’t seen Sandro in such a long time (the first and last time being at our mutual friend Sin Yee’s farewell party in November 2011), and I had a dying curiosity to taste a new dish from his Brazilian province, I jumped at the opportunity to go – and of course, I knew I was going to have a good time with very interesting and international people, with good food, and great drinks.
The party exceeded my expectations, with us filling ourselves with news, politics and gossip, mingling as we emptied our cups of endless Cuba Libres and Campari.
Sitting in the neo-classical style living room, with tall windows letting in the beautiful Saturday sunlight, it was a mix of tranquil peace and vintage fantasy.
The highlight, of course, was watching Sandro prepare the very anticipated dish – the Feijão Tropeiro.
According to Wikipedia, the Feijão Tropeiro is a traditional dish from Minas Gerais (Brazil). The dish consists of beans and tapioca flour (typical and characteristic ingredient of Brazilian cuisine), with egg, garlic, onions, and bacon. Since colonial times land transport were made in various carriages pulled by donkeys or horses, and the men hauling cattle were known in Brazil as “Tropeiros”. As it happened, tropeiros had been have been hauling cattle in different parts of Brazil until the twentieth century. The Feijão Tropeiro dish was typical of the men in these professions, hence its name “Feijão Tropeiro”. Although this dish traditionally includes pork, Sandro substituted the osobuco (beef) for pork.
Sandro had cooked the beans last night, and this morning cooked osobuco (cross-cut veal shanks) over low fire to obtain a very tender texture. In a large metal pot, he then sauteed onions, garlic and scrambled around a dozen eggs, adding in sliced chard leaves, and then the pre-cooked beans, before adding in the chopped osobuco and finally tapioca flour. Mixed all together over the fire, the dish was finally ready.
We were famished by the time the dish was ready, and that in part made the dish taste so absolutely delicious. Un aplauso enorme para Sandro!!
Feijão Tropeiro (Serves 10)
1) 2 large onion, sliced lengthwise
2) 1 entire bunch of garlic (around 10 cloves)
3) 12 eggs
4) 800g of brown beans
5) 2 kg of osobuco (cross-cut veal shanks)
6) 500g of chard leaves
7) 800g of tapioca flour
8) 6 chorizos
9) Spicy sauce (optional)
1) Boil the brown beans in water until cooked, then drain the water
2) Cook osobuco over low fire until cooked but still tender
3) Chop the osobuco meat into small pieces, removing the bones
4) Fry chorizos until cooked, then cut into small pieces
5) Slice onion lengthwise, chop garlic, and slice chard leaves
6) Saute onions and garlic in a pot, then add in eggs, scrambling them.
7) Add in chopped osobuco, chard, pre-cooked beans, and pour in tapioca flour in rain motion.
8) Serve with spicy sauce according to taste
Cooked brown beans:
Saute onions and garlic in a pot, then add in eggs, scrambling them.
Add in chard and osobuco:
Add in pre-cooked beans, chorizo and tapioca flour:
Proof that I helped out!
With Sandro & the huge pot of Feijão Tropeiro! Gracias amigo!
I have always wonder what “real” brazillian food is like beside brazillian bbq. This looks so authentic and cozy. I would love to try it one day.
I think Brazilians eat alot of beans, and chicken and pork. Other than that I’m not that sure either! But this dish was delicious (although a little dry because of the tapioca flour), but it was precisely the fact that it was dry which allowed the Tropeiros to carry it with them on long journeys without the food spoiling!
i think food wise from brazil we have here is brazillian churrasco…that’s all. i could probably try this dish next time to surprise my friends at a potluck. it’s very different.
Jess Gonzalez | Feast With Me says
I love meals that come with a story behind them – it’s so neat how so many great dishes come from street food and food workers would enjoy on the job. It reminds us that delicious food breaks class boundaries and reminds us that we all come from a similar ancestry, and we all enjoy a good meal. 🙂 Glad to hear you had a nice time seeing your friend as well – I wish I had more friends who cooked like that.
Totally get what you mean about how good food transcends different social classes and when you really analyze it, we aren’t very different at all!
I’m glad I had the chance to see my friend cooking his provincial dish, and trust me, I dont have that many friends doing that either!
Hope you enjoyed your long weekend and took advantage of black friday deals!