When you think of comfort food, what comes to mind?
Depending on what region of the country you grew up in, everyone has their own preferences for comfort food that satisfies both body and soul. For some, it may be lasagna, mac and cheese, fried chicken, or any number of different recipes that make them nostalgic for a delicious dish they grew up eating.
Just like every part of the United States has its own regional comfort foods, different countries from all around the world have their own international comfort foods as a staple in everyday life. While the flavors, ingredients, spices, and cooking methods used around the world for their comfort foods may differ from country to country, there is one constant that transcends country lines: beans!
Whether it is here in the United States or across the world, beans are a staple in comfort food recipes. Here, recipes like ham and beans, red beans and rice, and chili all come to mind. In other parts of the world, beans are used in other exciting ways.
If you want to experience international comfort foods from your very own kitchen, here are some of the best! Each one of these recipes is sure to fill your stomach and your soul with warmth and are all surprisingly easy to recreate in your own home with simple recipes from your average grocery store.
Feijoada – Brazilian Beef Stew
Feijoada, derived from the Spanish word frijoles meaning beans, is a national dish in the country of Brazil. This hearty stew containing black beans and either pork and beef grew in popularity among the common folk of the country due to how simple it was to prepare and the simplicity of the ingredients as it was traditionally prepared with very cheap pieces of meat.
This recipe from From A Chef’s Kitchen, however, uses much higher quality cuts of beef and pork for the meat in the stew. One might think that a stew of beef, pork, and beans might taste pretty basic, but you’ll be surprised by the bright and complex flavors it has in store for you! Try cooking this up with some Randall Beans black beans over rice.
Prebranac – Serbian Baked Beans
For most people, baked beans are about as American of a dish as it gets. When you think of baked beans, your brain probably immediately goes to the baked, sweet, and savory dish that is served up at barbecues and cookouts across the country. However, you may be surprised to learn of baked bean variations in other parts of the world, like prebranac!
Prebranac is a traditional Serbian dish and a favorite wintertime meal for keeping people warm during their extremely cold winter months. It differs from the American version of baked by not incorporating ingredients like molasses or ketchup to bind it all together. Instead, prebranac is a much lighter take on baked beans, using simple and readily available ingredients for something equally warm and hearty. Try this version from World Food Story with some Randall Beans great northern white beans.
Carne en su Jugo – Mexican Beef Stew
Answer this question: how can a dish called “Beef in its own Juice” not be amazing? Well, that is exactly what Carne en su Jugo, a traditional Mexican beef stew dish, translates to and it is indeed an international comfort food dish beloved in Mexico. With a nothing-too-fancy approach, this stew builds on big flavors from steak, bacon, peppers, and beans.
This recipe from Mexican Food Memories is a great place to start to find an authentic and delicious Carne en su Jugo recipe. It is an incredibly simple recipe that is great for winter. You’ll notice the recipe calls for Frijoles de la Olla, a special preparation of black or pinto beans. However, with Randall Beans’ pre-cooked beans, you can simply add a jar of our pinto or black beans to the pot for an even shorter prep time.
Caldo Verde – Portuguese Spicy Soup
Caldo verde is a traditional Portuguese soup that is spicy, savory, and beloved all year round in Portugal. A delicious and hearty soup made with simple ingredients, this recipe was a peasant dish in olden days. But those humble beginnings helped establish it as a comfort food and staple on the dinner tables of families across the country.
Sausage, potatoes, and greens in a hearty broth are the foundation of the dish. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t shake up a classic! This Caldo verde recipe from A Spicy Perspective uses a very traditional base recipe but then puts her own twist on it by adding white beans, a little paprika for extra spice, and a little heavy cream to thicken up the broth. White beans are a perfect addition to this classic recipe! It adds a little extra substance to the dish that will help stretch out one batch into even more meals using a simple ingredient that helps it stay close to its roots. Give it a try with our Randall Beans Great Northern Beans.
Beans aren’t just a staple in American cuisine. In fact, beans serve an integral part during mealtime in the kitchens of people all around the world. To show you just how diverse beans are, grab your free copy of our Beans Around the World Cookbook.