The history of Tropeiro beans
Tropeiro beans, also known as ‘Feijão Tropeiro’, is a very traditional Brazilian dish. It started over a century ago, when the transportation of goodies in the state of Minas Gerais was made by the cattleman.
They would travel miles and miles to deliver those goodies. The trip was long and very tiring, thus the necessity of making easy meals with what they had on hand. Also, those foods had to last a good period of time with no refrigeration.
Given the scenery, the cattleman just mixed beans, eggs, smoked sausage, cassava flour, among other ingredients they had, in one big skillet, creating what we call today the ‘Feijão Tropeiro’ or ‘Tropeiro Beans’.
The many versions of Tropeiro beans
Brazil is a huge country and the look and culture of it can be so different depending on which region you are.
I am from Sao Paulo, huge city, tons of buildings, cars and companies. Other cities are gorgeous, with beaches and/or beautiful architecture. It’s like having many countries combined into one.
So because of this, food can differ a lot from region to region, and even the same dish can be made in different ways. That being the case for the Tropeiro beans recipe.
There are many many versions of this dish. Some may or may not include the salted and dried meat (beef jerky), collard greens, pork rinds… Others use different types of beans… Each state has its different version. So here I’m presenting you the version that I like the most.
So easy to make
Making this Tropeiro beans recipe is very simple. You just add and mix ingredients as you go. The most challenging part is finding the ingredients, or, I mean, finding the cassava flour.
In Brazil, every single supermarket that you enter has cassava flour. It’s a thing Brazilians like to use in some dishes, and sometimes, even by itself, sprinkled over the meal, if you are from the Northeast area.
But here in U.S. cassava flour is not very popular, so if you don’t have a Brazilian or international market close by, it’s easier to buy it online at Amazon.
Also, something worth noting is that you can cook the beans yourself. You don’t need to use canned beans if you don’t like it. In Brazil I guess 90% of the population cooks their own beans; it’s just part of our culture. But, well, since I’m living in the U.S., and I have 4 kids, I’m trying to simplify my life, so I used canned beans 🙂
- 2 15.2 oz. cans Pinto beans, drained
- 8 oz chopped bacon
- 8 oz chopped smoked sausage
- 4 tsp chopped garlic
- 1 small onion, diced
- 6 eggs
- 4 leaves collard greens, thinly sliced, bottom stem removed (chiffonade) (optional)
- 1 1/4 cup cassava flour (also known as yucca or manioc flour)
- 2/3 cup ruffly chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp chopped green onion
- Pork rinds, broken into pieces (optional)
- salt to taste
- Place bacon in a 12" skillet, over medium heat. Once the bacon starts to render its fat, add the sausage and saute it until it starts to get some color. Add garlic and onion and saute everything until onion is soft and bacon is a little crispy.Push everything to one side of the pan. Crack the eggs on the other side of the pan, add a little bit of salt, and mix them until you get scrambled eggs. Then, mix together all the ingredients in the pan.Add the sliced (chiffonade) collard greens (if using) and mix it in for about a minute. Then add the beans (no liquid) and mix it again.Add the cassava flour, pork rinds, parsley and green onions (leave some greens to decorate the plate if you wish). Mix everything together.Taste it and see if it needs more salt. Feel free to add more flour if you'd like.Enjoy it!