Sunday, October 25, 2020

Spanish baked beans

October 20, 2020


I've been keeping my cooking pretty simple lately... few new recipes and no big projects. How simple? Well, making beans on toast has been the biggest deal of the past couple of weeks. When you do it the Smith & Deli way, there's cooking dried beans (never our forte!), a couple of veges, lots of dried spices and even a burst of capers. But mostly there's a lot of slow simmering.

That slow simmer really mellows everything out. The beans, a bit floury on their own, became soft and comforting. The fennel, vinegar and capers lost all their bite. I couldn't pick out any of the spices distinctly, though they contributed to the overall flavour. Our big pot of beans lasted for days. We made an effort to buy some fresh bread to eat with it, then garnished it in different permutations based on what else needed eating: a spoonful of sour cream, a vege sausage on the side, or a fried egg on top. These beans served us well every time.

Spanish baked beans
(slightly adapted from a recipe in 
Shannon Martinez & Mo Wyse's Smith & Deli-icious)

375g dried white beans
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
1 red capsicum, chopped
1 fennel bulb, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
400g can diced tomatoes
500mL vegetable stock
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon capers
pepper, to taste

Soak the beans overnight in water. Drain the beans, and place them in a large saucepan with lots of fresh water. Add the bay leaf and pop on a lid. Bring the beans to the boil until just cooked. Drain the beans.

While the beans are cooking, prepare the sauce. Choose a big saucepan or a deep frypan, and use it to heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, capsicum and fennel, gently cooking them until they're soft. Stir through the garlic and thyme, cooking for a further minute. Add the paprika, chilli, cumin, salt and tomato paste, stirring and cooking for a minute. Add the white wine vinegar, dice tomatoes, stock, brown sugar, and capers, stirring some more. Turn down the heat and gently simmer the sauce for 30 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf from the beans, then combine them with the sauce in whichever of the two pans can fit it all. Simmer it all for another 30-60 minutes. Add pepper to taste before serving.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like fancy baked beans - I am not great at cooking dried beans but this sounds really good! (still have a few from lockdown I need to cook). I know the feeling of not cooking much but when you are in that way and make a big tasty pot that lasts quite a few nights that is a winner!