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Classic Portuguese Beans (Feija~o a Portugue^sa)

I get all kinds of responses when I tell people where I'm from. My favorite was uttered at a party by a young woman swathed in a gauzy, tie-dyed dress who was eating an alarming amount of hummus: "Oh, the ... Read more

Total time: 2 1/2 hours plus 8 hours soaking | Serve 6 to 8
  • 1 pound dried navy, small California white or great northern beans, washed and sorted
  • Water
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 pound Spanish chorizo or other spicy smoked sausage (not Mexican chorizo) cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Step 1Soak beans overnight in enough cold water to cover by several inches. Drain beans and set aside.

Step 2Fry bacon in skillet over medium heat until crisp, 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Step 3Pour off all but 2 or 3 tablespoons of bacon fat, add onion and cook until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.

Step 4Add beans, 8 cups water, tomato paste, chorizo, red pepper flakes and paprika. Cover and simmer until beans are tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Just before serving, crumble bacon into beans and season with salt and pepper.

Note: Depending on the size and age of the beans you use, the cooking time could vary considerably. If the beans threaten to dry out, add water; if they're watery, remove the cover for the last half hour of cooking. Spanish chorizo is available at Spanish and some Latin markets.
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