Around The World in 80 Ways
Slow-Cooked Beans with Tomatoes, Herbs & Red
- 250g/9 oz dried butter beans or 2 tins, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for serving
- 4 medium onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs or Greek oregano
- 3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 450g/1 lb ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or a 400g/14 oz tin of chopped
tomatoes and juice
- 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste
- 230 ml/8 fl oz dry red wine
- Salt to taste
- If using dried beans, soak them overnight in plenty of cold water. If
you forget, pour boiling water on them, then leave to soak for at least 4
- In a large, heavy pan or flame-proof casserole, warm the oil and sauté the
onions and oregano for a few minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato
paste and wine.
- Rinse the beans thoroughly in more cold water, then drain and add
them to the pan. Stir well, and top up with a little water if necessary,
so the beans are just submerged in liquid.
- Bring it all the boil, then turn the heat down until barely simmering,
put a lid on the pan and cook as slowly as possible, stirring from time
to time and adding extra boiling water if necessary, for between 6 ½ and
9 hours, until the beans are tender.
- You may need a heat diffuser to get the temperature low enough.
- Add salt only when the beans are tender, not before, as it makes them
- When the beans are cooked to your satisfaction, turn up the heat a little
and cook uncovered for a while to reduce the sauce, but only if necessary.
- Serve the beans lukewarm , with a little extra olive oil drizzled over
them, accompanied by some good, hot, crusty bread (or garlic bread), a
crisp green side-salad and plenty of ice-cold retsina or rough red wine.