In preparation for April showers I am culling the last of my hearth recipes. Like most others who entertained cassoulets and lentil stews, I too approached the legume. These beans were my first try at beans and I thought them to be a vibrant success. My second try at beans ended in disastrous disappointment.
Oddly enough, I cooked these beans based on pure sensory diagnostics, whereas I pulled the others from a Mexican cookbook that I bought at the airport, looking to spend the last of my pesos. In it, they specified 16 cups of water for 2 cups of beans.
Does anybody else find this appalling?
The type of beans that I used is irrelevant, because you can use most any, but if you must know, these little green muckers are flageolets. For the longest time I could not remember their name because they reminded me of the word ‘flatulence’, which is an appropriate misnomer. They are thick skinned and stand up well to stewing, they don’t fall apart and are not as sensitive as others, like the pinto. I used the last of ted’s home cured bacon. As it was home-cured, it wasn’t smoked. I can only imagine that a smokey flavor would be gladly welcomed. To deepen the flavor I used cloves and homemade stock, rich with bay leaves and aromatics. Cook these before the rain dries up.
SPICEY FLAGEOLETS WITH HOME CURED BACON (Serves 4) Total time 10 Hours, Cook time 2 Hours, Active time 1 hours
SUMMARY: You will soak these bean in water the night before so that you cook them rather expediently, 2 hours before dinner. They keep very well and don’t leak in ugly Tupperware.
- 1 c dry beans - 1.5 c stock, preferably homemade
(I like the kind that has a little chicken fat in it bc I’m disgusting) - 2 t olive oil - 2”x4”chunk bacon, chopped - 1 carrot, chopped - 2 ribs celery, chopped - 1/2 onion, chopped - 1 bay leaf - 2 cloves - 1 T sugar - 2 t balsamic
- brown sugar
The night before… soak dried beans in water. Drain.
1. In a thick saucepan (I have a La Creuset that I haggled for $3 at the flea market) over medium high, heat the olive oil and brown the bacon. 3-5 minutes.
2. Remove the bacon but keep the drippings. Toss in the celery, carrots, and onions and sauté until they soften a bit. If the pot suggests dryness, add some olive oil or chicken fat. 3-5 minutes. Season.
3. Add in bay leaf, cloves and pre-soaked beans and brown 3-5 minutes.
4. Add stock and sugar, bring to boil, reduce to low, cover and let cook for anywhere between 1-2 hours. That should be good. 5. 10 minutes before eating, taste for texture and seasoning. Pick out the bay leaf, and the cloves. Throw in some balsamic vinegar and sugar (1-2 t) to taste and allow the acidity to boil off. 6. Splash with olive oil. Season to taste and eat!!!!!