Rice with beans

Rice with beans

Arroz de feijao

4 with leftovers
Steven Joyce

This is really a blend of several dishes, and can be tweaked to taste, or made without the meat for vegetarians – just add vegetable stock instead of water to ramp up the flavour. This is hearty enough to make a meal in itself, but a vegetarian version or one made with a just a little bacon is often served with small fried fish.

If you prefer to use dried beans rather than pre-cooked, soak 100 g beans overnight in cold water, discarding the water in the morning. Cook in fresh water according to the packet instructions – the beans may need anything from 45 minutes to several hours on the hob. It is important that all dried beans, but kidney beans in particular, are boiled rapidly for at least 10 minutes to remove any dangerous toxins.


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 bay leaf, roughly torn
4 rashers smoked bacon, pancetta or presunto ham, finely chopped
100g dried chouriço, finely chopped
60ml white wine
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
8 sprigs coriander, leaves finely chopped, stalks reserved and finely chopped
125ml passata, blitzed canned tomatoes
200g carolino or risotto rice
750ml water
400g tin cooked borlotti, pinto, kidney or black beans, drained and rinsed
salt, if necessary
freshly ground black pepper
flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, to serve


  1. Place a heavy-based pan with a lid over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and onion, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Next, add the garlic and bay leaf, and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the bacon and chouriço and cook for 3–4 minutes, until just beginning to brown. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan and let the alcohol sizzle away. Add the paprika and the chopped coriander stalks, then stir in the passata.
  2. Pour in the rice and stir to coat with the sauce, and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the water and bring to the boil over a high heat, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Finally, stir the cooked beans into the rice, replace the lid and heat them through. Remove from the heat, taste and add a little salt, if necessary, and a good dose of black pepper.
  4. Serve topped with a handful of chopped parsley and coriander leaves.
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