Frijoles (south american beans)

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
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Got another care package from Down Under, courtesy Mark Herron. The following series of recipes are from the Raw Materials column by Meryl Constance who writes for the Sydney Morning Herald. The three columns this time covered basil, veal and strawberries (remember them? ;-}). Pay attention now++there's some good-looking stuff here...

This recipe comes from Antioquia in Colombia but variations on the theme are made all over South and Central America. In Colombia, it is served with rice and a number of side dishes, including crisp pork crackling, bananas, avocados and white corncakes. Stretched in this way, the quantities given here would easily serve eight.

Into a large pot 2 cups of red kidney beans (not pre-soaked). Add 5 cups of a mixture made from the liquid drained from a large tin of peeled tomatoes (the tomatoes themselves are used later) and your choice of stock.

Do not add salt it is said to prevent the beans softening properly.

Cover the pot and put the beans to cook over a low heat. South American practice is to add a tablespoon of oil when the beans begin to wrinkle but Raw Materials omits this with no ill-effects. Continue cooking until tender++about 2 to 3 hours.

Meanwhile, finely chop 2 large onions and 4 cloves of garlic and fry gently in a little oil. Add 500 g minced meat (usually beef but take your choice) and fry very slowly until brown. Add the tinned tomatoes, a chopped green capsicum, 2 or 3 bay leaves, 2 teaspoons cumin, half a bunch of basil (chopped), 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, pepper and salt.

Tip the contents of the frying pan into the beans and simmer slowly till well blended.

Serves 4 to 6.

Posted by Stephen Ceideberg; November 17 1992.

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