Mama’s Portuguese Beans


Mama’s Portuguese Beans

Mama’s Portuguese Beans

A few years before my mother’s passing she left to me and my bothers her mother’s recipe for Portuguese beans. Although I think that this was originally a peasant dish that has been added to, the basis for this recipe remains true to its roots. I have always wanted to share and blog this recipe. In addition I have included techniques that I have found to work the best for me. So without further ado.. here’s the basic instructions for Portuguese Beans:

INGREDIENTS;

Pink Beans 1lb
Garlic 3 cloves
Salted Pork or Ham Hock 1 small piece
Oil 3 Tbs
Olive Oil 1 Tbs
Onions 4 large
Hamburger 1 lb
Salt 2 tsp
Pepper 2 tsp
Cumin seeds 2 Tbs
Linguesa Sausage 2 links

Procedure;

Wash, clean, and soak 1LB Pkg. of Pink beans overnight covered with cold water.
Next day, drain, put beans in large pot, cover with cold water. Add one large onion, chunked, 2/3 cloves of slivered garlic, and (optional) a small piece of salted Pork or Ham Hock.
Bring to boil, and simmer approx. 2 hours until beans are tender.
In a large fry pan, add 3 Tbs oil, plus 1 Tbs of olive oil.
Heat until hot, then add, 2 large chopped onions and 3 more cloves of garlic (chopped).
Fry over medium heat, until onions limp and yellow.
To Same fry pan, add 1 LB Hamburger, break up meat into mix and fry until meat well done.
Season this mix with 2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. black pepper, 2 Tbs. cumin seeds (bruised).
To this mix now add some juice from beans, simmer about 10 minutes.
Pour onion hamburger mix into bean pot. Taste for additional salt and pepper. Simmer while you prepare the sausage.
Peal the skins off two links of linguesa sausage. Cut into pieces and fry until a bit brown. Add to bean pot with slotted spoon, leaving behind the grease.
Simmer whole pot to blend flavors. Check now for more cumin, altho you will find the sausage is spicey.

Serve;

Place one wide slice of sour dough bread in a soup bowl (sopa), add beans and juice and sausage. If you like sprinkle with cheese.

Author: Florence Kinney

The following is a graphical rendition of this procedure with a couple of extra touches;

Step one as far as I am concerned is you must have a clean kitchen before you get started. Things are going to get messy enough without any further complications. One word to the wise, get all your ingredients ahead of time, you don’t want to get caught in the middle of making this recipe without having everything you need at your disposal.

 

 

Wash, clean, and soak 1LB Pkg. of Pink beans overnight covered with cold water.

soaking_beansThis is important. I have seen several “cooking shows” that infer that this step is not that essential, but let me assure you that it is. This allows the bean to rehydrate and cook within the time allotted for this dish. Don’t be skimpy with the water, the beans will soak up alot of water overnight.

 

 

 

Next day, drain, put beans in large pot, cover with cold water.

 

 

 

 

Add one large onion, chunked, 2/3 cloves of slivered garlic, and (optional) a small piece of salted Pork or Ham Hock.

 onion garlic ham

So for those of you who want to take a short cut by not using fresh garlic.. all I have to say to you is don’t. Please use some of your knife skills and do sliver the garlic, it does make a difference. Now when ever a recipe call for 2/3 cloves of garlic, I usually put in 3, just my preference. As far as the Ham Hock, I prefer using the bone and surrounding meat from a previous meal (the meat is sweeter next to the bone). If I find that this is not quite enough I will add a few more pieces of sliced ham from the leftovers.

Bring to boil, and simmer approx. 2 hours until beans are tender.

 simmering pot

 Don’t cheat on the time, this dish requires this much time minimum to properly marry all the flavors together. You may also need to add some more water to cover the added onion, garlic and ham.

In a large fry pan, add 3 Tbs oil, plus 1 Tbs of olive oil.
Heat until hot, and then add, 2 large chopped onions and 3 more cloves of garlic (chopped).
Fry over medium heat, until onions limp and yellow.

 onion hatchcut

The trick to this is, since you already have chunked onions in the pot, make sure you dice this onion. This is easily done by using a cross hatch method. Slice your onion, but not all the way through making small slices, then turn the onion 90 degrees and make the same incisions to form a cross hatch of slices. Then turn the onion on its side and make thin slices all the way through. The smaller the slice the finer the cut. Sliver the garlic as before, and then chop the garlic into small bits.

 onion preparation

I remove this mixture from the fry pan and reserve it to a plate before proceeding to the next step.

To Same fry pan, add 1 LB Hamburger, break up meat into mix and fry until meat well done.
Season this mix with 2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. black pepper, 2 Tbs. cumin seeds (bruised).

 beef and cumin

 I have found that with the added ham in the pot I have reduced the amount of salt to 1tsp. The cumin can be a bit over powering so you may want to season to taste at this point. I think that 1Tbs. of cumin is enough. Be sure to use cumin seeds and not powdered cumin. I use a mortar and pestle to bruise the cumin seeds or you can use a bowel and spoon to crush the seeds.

To this mix now add some juice from beans, simmer about 10 minutes.

hamberger mix

Once the meat is done, add the reserved onion the garlic mixture to the pan and the juice from the pot containing the beans and ham. Do let this mix simmer to marry these flavors together.

Pour onion hamburger mix into bean pot. Taste for additional salt and pepper. Simmer while you prepare the sausage. Make sure that the bean pot has had enough time to simmer (2 hr). If it needs more time hold the onion hamburger mix until the bean pot has had enough time to cook the beans and ham. The beans should be soft and the ham meat should be just falling off the bone.

Peal the skins off two links of linguesa sausage. Cut into pieces and fry until a bit brown. Add to bean pot with slotted spoon, leaving behind the grease.

linguesa

This is the secret, peal the skin off the linguesa. This will allow the linguesa to fully cook and not have a casing that will inhibit the taste. This also allows the taste of the linguesa to permeate the mixture in the pot. I have to add my opinion about the linguesa that is available in the grocery stores now a days. Even the “hot” linguesa is rather mild to my taste. I remember linguesa that was hot and spicy and contained a lot more fat. To remedy the heat issue I add a tsp. of chili paste or oil.

Simmer whole pot to blend flavors. Check now for more cumin, although you will find the sausage is spicy.Taste is everything to everybody. I think that once you have simmered this mixture for another hour it is pretty much done. Don’t allow this mixture to overcook. The sauce should be the consistency of a thick soup. Overcooking the mixture will result in the beans breaking down into a paste, reducing the overall appeal of the dish. I usually just take the pot off the heat and let the mixture rest. Reheat when ready for the meal.

Serve;

Place one wide slice of sour dough bread in a soup bowl (sopa), add beans and juice and sausage. If you like sprinkle with cheese. Absolutely!

bowel of beans

As my Mother would say: senta say, por favor, manga

 

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