Thursday, March 8, 2012

RECIPE - Brazilian "Refried Beans" (Tutu de Feijão)

One Mexican dish that's become famous outside the borders of that country is somewhat misnamedly called frijoles refritos, which means refried beans. The dish consists of cooked dried beans that have been partially mashed and then reheated in a frying pan, often with the addition of some form of fat, usually lard. Creamy and rich, these beans and an accompanying mound of rice make the traditional sides on a Mexican dinner, lunch or even breakfast plate.

Brazil's variation on this Mexican theme is called tutu de feijão and employs a variety of cured meat products, like sausage or bacon, to add flavor to pre-cooked beans plus manioc flour to thicken and enrich the bean liquid. It's popular all over Brazil, but particularly so in the state of Minas Gerais - so much so that the dish is sometimes called Tutu de Feijão à Mineira, which means "tutu in the style of Minas Gerais".
RECIPE - Brazilian "Refried Beans" (Tutu de Feijão)
Serves 4

3 cups pre-cooked beans, with their cooking liquid
1 small onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 thick slice bacon, cut into small cubes (optional)
1 small linguica or other garlic sausage, cut into small cubes (optional)
1 cup manioc flour (farinha)
1 cup water
chopped cilantro and green onion for garnish
In a blender or food processor, blend the beans and their cooking liquid until they are homogenous. Reserve.

Using a large frying pan, fry the bacon and sausage until they have rendered the fat and they are thoroughly browned and crunchy. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving the fan in the pan. Reheat the fat, then add the onion and garlic and fry over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until they are soft and transparent, but not browned.

Add the reserved beans to the pan, reheat them, then add the water. When the mixture begins to boil, slowly add the manioc flour by sprinkling a few tablespoons at a time and mixing them in before adding additional flour. When all is absorbed continue to cook for a few minutes or until the mixture has thickened.

Put the tutu in a deep serving bowl and sprinkle the cilantro and green onion on top. Serve immediately.

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