Brazilian Black-Eyed Peas and Rice - Baião de Dois

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Brazilian Black-eyed Peas and Rice - Baião-de-dois. Marian Blazes
  • 70 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4
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Fresh black-eyed peas and rice make a great team in this excellent Brazilian comfort food dish - the  Brazilian equivalent of red rice and beans, or moros y cristianos.  

Baião is a traditional style of music from Northeastern Brazil. This music evolved as combination of the music of the indigenous people in that region and that of African and European immigrants (just like the cuisine!).  Baião is also the name of a folk dance from this region, and so name of this dish literally means "baiao (dance) for two".

Baião become very popular in the mid 20th century, and around that time a pair of musicians wrote a popular song called "baião-de-dois" that became associated with this dish.  You can read more about the story behind this Brazilian dish and hear the very pretty song that goes along with it here at Flavors of Brazil.

Baião-de-dois is best when made with fresh black-eyed peas, which can be hard to find but are usually available in the frozen food section. In Brazil this dish is often prepared with dried beef (carne de sol) but pork (bacon in this case) is also popular.  

What You'll Need

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 2 cups fresh (or frozen) black-eyed peas
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups rice
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces smoked mozzarella (or regular whole milk mozzarella) cheese

How to Make It

 Coarsely chop the bacon and place it in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.   Cook until bacon is browned and crispy.  Remove about 1/4 of the bacon pieces and set aside for garnish.

Add the chopped onion to the saucepan and cook over medium heat in the bacon grease until softened. Add the garlic and the chopped cilantro and cook for several minutes more, stirring. 

Add the black-eyed peas and the water to the saucepan.

 Cover and simmer until black-eyed peas are tender, about 30-40 minutes.  

Once the beans are tender, stir in the rice and 1 cup of vegetable or chicken stock.  Cover and simmer over low heat until rice is cooked.  Check periodically and add more stock if needed.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the mozzarella cheese into 1-inch cubes.  Stir into dish just before serving, so cheese has time to melt slightly.