Overall, I think these are more cooking notes than a true recipe, as every version of this dish I've had has been different. I also call it "Local Kine" simply because, as with many dishes in Hawaii, it has been mixed with many "local" influences.
According to the timeline on Hawaiian-roots.com, the first large groups of Portuguese arrived in Hawaii in 1878. When the Portuguese arrived on the shores of Hawaii, they brought with them a variety of "food stuffs" that reflected the influences of a cuisine that had been traveling between the Old and New World for over 400 years. Even though at first glance, it would seem that the Portuguese is rather under-represented when compared to other cuisines in Hawaii, a closer look shows a large influence. For example, malsadas, or how's this, that King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread..... is a version of Pao Doce. And the real winna' as we would say, is what we call "Portuguese Sausage", a local version of Linguica. A simple breakfast trip to McDonald's when in the islands will quickly reveal how deeply embedded Portuguese Sausage is....... McDonald's serves Portuguese Sausage, Eggs, and Rice for breakfast. Or if you're really hungry, you can get the "Local Deluxe Breakfast". Portuguese Sausage, Spam®, Eggs, and Rice.
Of course this version bears no resemblance to the two, so called "real" versions of Portuguese Bean Soup I had, one of which had collard greens and no linguica, and the other had chayote. Also, the first version had a pretty intense anise and clove flavor. And I'm also guessing it may not resemble versions you've had of this soup in Hawaii, many of which will use chopped smoked ham, cabbage, and other stuffs. My soup is also bit more hearty, and perhaps uses a bit less kidney beans, mainly because part of the target audience really doesn't care for beans.
Instead of ham hocks, I really like the smoked pork shanks that Siesel's and Iowa Meat Farms carry. They have some heft. Also, since the phrase "Purity Brand is the only Portuguese sausage...." has been branded into my grey matter, that's what I use as well. I've posted about folks from Hawaii and brand loyalty before.
And then there's the elbow macaroni. The first Portuguese Bean Soup I had (see story at the end) had elbow macaroni in it. My Mom always made her's with elbow macaroni. These days I make maybe 8 ounces of macaroni, very al dente, and place in the soup bowl right before serving if desired. I've kinda lost my taste for mushy macaroni, especially since, like most soups, this tastes better the next day. At that point, the macaroni will have soaked up a lot of the broth, and become mush. As to the "why macaroni?" question. I'm guessing, that perhaps in the beginning it was used as filler.....
Another problem I used to run into was that all the flavor of the Portuguese Sausage would leach out into the broth. Great for the broth, but this leaves behind flavorless sausage. Also if you just add sliced raw onions, they would melt away pretty quickly as well. So a few years back, I added a step where I lightly saute the sausage. I then remove the sausage from the pan, and add the onions, which I also lightly saute. I deglaze the pan in the end with red wine vinegar, and reserve everything to add to the soup later on.
In the end, if you like more carrots, add carrots......more potatoes....you get it, right?
Local Kine Portuguese Bean Soup:
2-3 Smoked Pork Shanks or Ham Hocks
2 10oz Portuguese Sausages
2 large onions
1 bunch cilantro rinsed
5 cloves garlic
2 dried bay leaves
2 Tb Black Peppercorns
2 dried red chilies sliced in half and deseeded
1 16 oz can tomato puree
2 6 oz cans tomato paste
2 15oz cans of Kidney Beans
2-3 Tb Paprika
2+1-2 Tb Red wine Vinegar
4 Stalks of celery, plus 2-3 stalks of the leafy celery "heart"
3-4 carrots, plus 1 carrot chopped into four pieces
Tabasco Sauce to taste
Salt and Pepper to Taste
- In one pot place the ham hocks and cover with water. I use anywhere from 8-12 cups. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns, and red chilies.
- Quarter one onion and add to the pot, along with the celery "hearts" torn in half and the one chopped carrot.
- Chop off the stems of the cilantro, and chop about 3-4 tablespoons worth. Add this to the pot.
- Smash the garlic and also add to the pot.
- Bring to a slow simmer and cover.
- Slice the Portuguese Sausage into 1/2 - 3/4" rounds. Or, you could cube the sausage. At this point you'll have 4 end slices, which many folks don't like to eat. I throw this in the pot with the ham hocks to add flavor to the broth.
- Slice the other onion crosswise into slices.
- Heat a large saute pan over medium low heat. Add the olive oil to coat the pan, and lightly saute the sausage until partially cooked and firm. Remove and reserve sausage in a large bowl.
- Add onion slices and saute for a minute or two until slight soft.Deglaze with 2 tablespoons of red win vinegar. Remove onions and remaining "liquid" to the bowl with the sausage slices.
- Check on the Ham Hocks after about 2 hours. If the meat is soft and will come off the bone remove the hock to a plate.
- Strain the liquid through a colander, and discard the pieces of celery, bay leaf, etc....
- Pour the liquid back into the pot and place back over the low simmer.
- Place the ham hocks on a cutting board and chop to desired size, and set aside.
- Open the two cans of kidney beans a drain through a colander over a bowl. Reserve the liquid.
- Add the tomato puree, tomato paste, kidney beans, and paprika, and bring back to a simmer.
- when broth comes back to a simmer add the ham hocks back to the broth, along with the Portuguese Sausage and onions. Don't forget all of the liquid in the bottom of the bowl!
- Simmer for about 15 minutes, until sausage is heated through.
- Mean while chop, slice, or dice the celery, carrots, and potatoes as desired.
- Add the vegetables and simmer for 15 more minutes.
- After the 15 minutes, add 1/2 of the reserved liquid from the canned beans.
- Taste. If the flavor of the beans does not faintly come through add more liquid.
- Add salt and pepper, red wine vinegar, and tabasco, if desired to taste.
- At this point you can simmer until vegetables are cooked to the desired doneness, or simmer until vegetables are just a step before desired doneness if serving the next day.
You can serve garnished with cilantro, over some elbow macaroni, rice, or with bread (Pao Doce). Folks I know usually add a bit more Tabasco.
This recipe may seem pretty long, but it's mostly just letting things simmer. I actually made this while watching the Chargers beat the Eagles last weekend.
Portuguese Bean Soup and Cilantro.
Strangely enough, I remember the first time I had Portuguese Bean Soup. I must've been about four, since we were still living on Date street, and hadn't moved to Palolo yet. In the apartment across the way, lived a couple, and the husband was, at least to me at the time, a hulking man of Portuguese-Chinese decent. And as large as he seemed, his booming voice made him seem even larger. One day, "Uncle Henry" as I called him called my Mom and I over....... while my Mom and his wife chatted, "Henry" stood hunched over a large cauldron, slowly stirring and tasting. After awhile Henry declared, "it's ready, time to eat." And along with the "adult bowls", I was even given a "Keiki bowl" of soup. My Mother quickly told Henry, "I don't think he's going to like this....." But Henry shrugged her off and declared (he never really spoke, he declared), "Da' boy's hea' he eats...." To my Mother's surprise, and Henry's delight, I ate a couple of bowls..... it was three or four according to Mom. I remember that the flavors exploded in my mouth, and the soup went down wrapping me in a nice warm cloud of satisfaction. My Mother was curious about I enjoyed about the soup since it had Tabasco and Portuguese Sausage, and kids usually don't like spicy. So when she asked, I pointed to the sausage....and to her surprise, the cilantro, which we called Chinese Parsley. It was such a new a remarkable flavor, that I remember it to this day. Today, perhaps I'm able to duplicate the flavor of that bowl, but have seldom been able to capture the wonderful feeling of discovering new flavors.......
Hmmm.... I think someone's waiting for a Ham Hock bone.... And maybe a haircut after that????