Beans on Toast: Brazilian Style
Nothing is more romantic than breakfast in bed: something hand-cooked with love, a steaming mug of coffee, and maybe a fresh rose is a winning combination by any stretch of the imagination. But what do you make? Pancakes are nice, but a touch boring (and sticky). Eggs Benedict is lovely, but poached eggs aren’t in everyone’s skillset. So what dish is the perfect Valentine’s Day breakfast? Drumroll, please…it’s beans on toast.
Now, before you start laughing, hear us out. Sure, beans on toast is not known for being a classy or romantic dish. In fact, it is about as simple as a meal can get: a can of Heinz beans in tomato sauce warmed up in a saucepan or the microwave, then unceremoniously dumped on top of a slice of toasted bread. No shade–it is actually delicious, especially with a dash of Worcestershire sauce.
But we want something special. Our Valentine’s Day breakfast takes the humble beans on toast to gourmet heights by incorporating a little Brazilian flare. That’s right: this is beans on toast, Brazilian style.
Brazilian Beans on Toast
This beans on toast dish is by no means an authentic Brazilian recipe. It is a hybrid of the classic British recipe and distinctly Brazilian flavors. Specifically, we are drawing inspiration from one of Brazil’s most treasured dishes: feijoada.
Feijoada is a black bean stew simmered with calabresa sausage, bacon, herbs, and aromatics. It is earthy, spicy, and utterly delicious. That is why it finds its way onto the table at nearly every meal, along with a pot of fresh Brazilian rice.
Sausage, bacon, and beans might be a little rich for the start of a romantic day. That is why we have adapted the recipe to be largely vegetarian. Beans are still slow simmered in a flavorful broth, but we omit the greasy sausage and bacon in favor of a runny egg on top.
Eggs for Beans on Toast
While most Brazilians do not typically consume eggs for breakfast, they are not averse to them in other dishes. Most often, they come in the hard boiled variety. You’ll find hard boiled eggs in and on everything, from Brazilian pizza to salt cod dishes. That being said, you could substitute the fried egg for this Valentine’s day breakfast with a hard boiled one. You can also skip the egg entirely if you want a vegan option.
Feijoada vs Tutu de Feijão
There is another dish in Brazil that is called “tutu de feijao.” Like feijoada, it uses soaked black beans. Unlike feijoada, however, it does not call for sausage and the beans are pureed before they are cooked with bacon and aromatics. Today’s Valentine’s breakfast is, perhaps, a hybrid of Feijoada and Tutu de Feijao, since we are omitting the meat but leaving the beans intact.
What Type of Bread is Best for Beans on Toast?
You want a sturdy bread that can maintain a decent crunch while being smothered in that delicious feijoada and runny egg. For our money, you can’t go wrong with sourdough. Cut it nice and thick and toast it with a brushing of olive oil, and you can practically eat this Valentine’s breakfast with your hands (maybe don’t try it if you are having it in bed, though).
Another surprising pair is brioche with beans on toast. The savory, saltiness of the beans is beautifully offset by the sweet, slightly caramel flavor of the brioche. However, the brioche is a much softer bread, so you won’t have the toasty crunch for long.
What Drink for Valentine’s Day Breakfast?
While we don’t understand it, we accept that not everyone is a coffee-lover. Brazilians themselves tend to go light on the coffee in the mornings, with just a splash of it in a warmed milk drink called “pingado.” We think something sweet is in order to go with this savory breakfast. You could try, for example, a hot mug of creamy Brazilian hot chocolate or black tea with cream and sugar.
If you really want to win your Valentine’s Day breakfast, though, may we suggest a mimosa with passionfruit juice in place of orange juice?
Dry Beans vs Canned Beans for Brazilian Beans on Toast?
While we are certain to get a slap on the wrist for this, you can use canned beans for this recipe. We prefer the dry beans for flavor and texture, but canned versions are just fine in a pinch. Just keep in mind that you will need to significantly reduce the cook time (probably the appealing part of using canned beans). Simmer until the flavors have had time to meld and everything is heated through–around 30 minutes.
Smoky Flavor Without Sausage?
Our secret weapon for today is smoked paprika. Even a small amount lends an earthy, meaty flavor without any smoked sausage or bacon at all. We also add in a little Worcestershire sauce for British authenticity and umami, but you can leave this out if you want to keep the beans vegan.
Valentine’s Day Breakfast Recipe: Gourmet Beans on Toast
1 lb dry black beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
3 large tomatoes, diced (or 1 can stewed tomatoes)
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp smoked paprika
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
4 cups vegetable or mushroom stock
4 cups water
Extra virgin olive oil
1.5 tsp salt (more as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and stir in the diced onion. Cook until the onion softens and appears translucent.
- Add in the garlic and tomatoes and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
- Drain the beans of their soaking water and rinse them well under fresh cold water. Then add them to the pan with the onions, garlic, and tomatoes.
- Add the stock, water, smoked paprika, salt, bay leaves, and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper.
- Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for two hours. Then, remove the lid and simmer for a further 30 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add a dash or two of the Worcestershire sauce add this time.
- When the beans are nearly finished cooking, toast your bread and prepare the eggs. In a small saucepan, add a generous amount of olive oil and heat over medium. Crack in two eggs and fry until all nearly the whites have turned opaque. Then, flip the eggs and cook for another 30 seconds (over easy).
- Add two slices of toast to a plate. Ladle a good amount of your beans on top of each slice, then finish with the runny, fried eggs.
Note: this recipe makes quite a lot. You can store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week or freeze them for up to four months.
Now, What About Valentine’s Day Dinner?
Why not keep this Brazilian theme going and take your sweetheart out for an incredible meal at one of Texas de Brazil’s fine dining locations? Our attentive gauchos, mouth-watering dishes, and romantic atmosphere will ensure you have the perfect Valentine’s Day celebration. Go online to find the location nearest you and book your table today–spots fill up fast!