From Dame Natalie Middleton in celebration of Carnival in Rio de Janiero


  • 500g dried black beans, or 2 x 400g cans of black beans
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated or crushed
  • 500g mixed meats, such as chopped pancetta, pork belly pieces, chorizo and sliced blood sausage, as you like
  • 800g smoked pork ribs, separated (available from Brazilian grocers, or use unsmoked; see tip, below)
  • 4 bay leaves

To serve

Steamed rice or farofa, to serve (optional) Handful of coriander, roughly chopped



If using dried beans, tip into a large bowl, cover with water and soak overnight. The next day, drain and rinse. Cover with fresh water in a large, lidded saucepan, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover the pan and cook for 10 mins. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Remove from the heat and set aside. (If using canned beans, skip this step.)


Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and fry the onions with a pinch of salt for 15 minutes or until soft and just golden. If the onions begin to brown too quickly, add a splash of water. Stir in the garlic, cook for 1 min more, then add all the meat and bay leaves.


Tip in the boiled beans and 200ml of the cooking liquid or the canned beans and their liquid. Everything should be covered with liquid – top up with cold water if there’s not enough. Give it a good stir, then cover and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 2-3 hrs. Serve hot, scattered with the coriander, alongside farofa or steamed rice, if you like.

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