Brasilidades Lunch

Feijão Tropeiro (Drover’s Beans)

This is another Brazilian Favorite Dish – one of the dishes that come from my family state, Minas Gerais, that is not very well known around the world as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro but is one of the most friendly places you can ever visit in Brazil, awesome music, breath taking places and the best food…  Ok not an unbiased opinion here but for you to have an idea, Cachaça and Pão de Queijo come from Minas Gerais.    Do I need to say anything more?

Minas Gerais is mainly a farmers state, it’s Brazilian Texas, Brazilian Outback.  

It’s also  a very important historical place – first fights for Brazilian independence started there with the national hero Tiradentes and til today our proud flag carries the words in Latin:  “libertas quae sera tamen”( freedom albeit late).

It’s also home of one of our most important artists ever, Aleijadinho –  that even with the hands compromised by the porphyria, created pieces that are considered worlds heritage like the Twelve Prophets in Congonhas.  His art is so impressive that I cried when I had the privilege of seen and touching them.  

Some places seems to have stopped in time and if you ever visit Brazil please visit Congonhas, Tiradentes and Ouro Preto.     You will not regret, I promise! (you can write me and I will give you all hints). 

Minas Gerais has also some awesome MPB Talents like Milton Nascimento and lots of Country Music.   People that are born in the Country are also known as Caipira and we have a very particular accent when speaking Portuguese 🙂

I wasn’t born there but Minas Gerais is the place I will always call home.   Miss the smell of fresh cheese bread in the morning, the roaster waking us up, eating fruits from the tree, homemade fresh cheese, the homemade butter and even the horrible raw milk (I hate milk, really… hate raw milk, warm, with a foam, just milked…. I had a lot of it).      I wasnt born there but I am a Caipira in my heart.  

Back to the recipe, this is called Feijão Tropeiro (Drover’s beans, Trooper’s beans)  – fact is the original one was born in São Paulo and was introduced to Minas by the Bandeirantes but our version is better!!! 🙂  (another very unbiased opinion)   It is made with corn flour instead of cassava flour.    It’s called Feijão Tropeiro because it used be eaten by those brave man during their long trips as it keeps really well. 

The base is beans and corn flour – not a normal corn flour though, we call if “Biju” and is a very rough corn flour (picture bellow).      There are also versions made with Cassava Flour (in São Paulo is always with Cassava Flour).

You can find Biju in Brazilian stores.    Is a very filling dish and is frequently served with Churrasco (Barbecue).       Try once and you will love it forever! 😉

Serve it with white rice and Caipirinha

* Photos:  Ouro Preto and Congonhas – click in the pictures for credit

Feijão Tropeiro (Drover’s/Trooper’s Beans)
Serves: 4 Cost:$$ | Difficulty:  Medium | Time: 3 h+overnight
Author: a Classic by Rachel Elich


  • 500g Sausage Calabrese or South American Style (Parillero) sausage taken out of its case and chopped
  • 100g Thick cut smoked Bacon
  • 5 Eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 Bunch Kale Finely Sliced
  • 1 Cups borlotti beans (not canned, the grain dry) soaked overnight
  • About 2 Cups Biju Corn Flour 
  • 1 Large Onion Finely Chopped
  • 4 Cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 Red Chilli with Seeds Finely Sliced
  • 1 Teaspoon powdered chicken stock
  • 1/2 Cup Finely Sliced Parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons Lard (or Oil)


  1. Put the beans in a large Sauce Pan and cover with three times its volume of water – cook until soft but still holding the shape (It will take around 2 hours, depending of the quality of the beans).    Drain it reserving 1/2 of cup of the water of the cooking. 
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon Lard  in a large and tall skillet or a Wok over high heat
  3. Add the Sausage and the Bacon, fry it for 5-10 min until cooked
  4. Stir in the garlic and the onions, cook until soft and starting to get gold
  5. In the meantime, in another skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of Lard over high heat and stir in the kale, cooking until it wilts. 
  6. At the Eggs and Stir without stopping – use a tablespoon to scrape all goodness from the bottom of the skillet.  
  7. When the eggs are almost cooked but still soft, stir in the Cooked beans, the Kale, the chilli, the Chicken Stick powder and the 1/2 cup of the cooking bean water.
  8. Add the Biju Corn Flour stirring and cooking all together   
  9. Remove from heat and add the Parsley

Sound Track for Feijão Tropeiro:  Elis Regina (best singer Brazil ever had) singing for all Caipiras around the World and Milton Nascimento a wonderful singer from Minas Gerais. 

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