Feijão-tropeiro (Muleteer Beans)

Feijão-tropeiro (Muleteer Beans)


“Feijão-tropeiro” is the icon of “tropeiro” (muleteer or caravan conductor) kitchen, a figure appeared in the late 17th century and early 18th century. Muleteers transported goods for supply to the central regions of the country. The trips were very long, along really precarious and dangerous trails. The muleteers carried also dry food non-perishable to make their own meals during the trip. Beans (often grown in cultivated fields along roadsides), cassava flour or corn flour, jerked meat and pork scratchings were the main ingredients and, with them, was “created” this dish.

The recipe has been handed down from generation to generation. It has become one of the traditional dishes of the states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Mato Grosso, spread all over the country. Its traditional side dishes are white rice and braised cabbage. There are many versions of this recipe that use all types of beans, adding fresh pork into cubes, adding cabbage, adding scrambled eggs instead of hard-boiled eggs and, in some states such as São Paulo, using corn flour instead of manioc flour.

• Revista do Arquivo Público Mineiro Ano XLII n° 2 julho-dezembro 2006, accessed 2012.04.30.
• “O sabor de Minas Gerais”, Tião Rocha. Departamento Cultural do Itamaraty, Ministério das Relações Exteriores, accessed 2012.01.03.
• Sabores Saberes, Boletim Cultural e Memorialístico de São Tiago e Região | Ano VI . N° LXVIII. Maio de 2013, accessed 2014.05.20.

• 250 g pinto bean (black, brown, kidney or any type of beans)
• 1 bay leaf
• 150 g bacon
• 150 g sausage Neapolitan type
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, crushed
• 150 g cassava flour or corn flour
• 3 hard-boiled eggs
• 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)
• salt and pepper or chilli

Preparation method

  1. Wash beans and soak them for at least four hours. Then,cook them with salt and a bay leaf until the beans are tender but not falling apart. Drain the beans in a sieve and set aside. The cooking time depends of the type, age and quality of the beans.
  2. Cut the bacon into small cubes and fry stirring with out oil until crisp.
  3. Add the sliced sausage and let cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped onion and let cook. Add the olive oil, the crushed garlic, chilli and let simmer for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add the drained beans and and let them reheat, stirring carefully.
  6. Remove from the heat and then gradually add flour, still stirring carefully.
  7. Add chopped hard-boiled eggs and chopped parsley.Season to taste.
  8. Serve with white rice and black cabbage.

Note: You can garnish the dish with pork scratchings and sliced hard-boiled eggs, instead of folding them into the mixture.

Posted on: 18 April 2016