French-Style Baked Beans

Fight Back Friday post

In  the quest to keep eating while not spending much money, we’ve resorted to a lot of beans and rice lately.  More rice than beans to be honest, as I seem to be the only one who loves baked and refried beans.  In my quest for variety, I dug into Nourishing Traditions again and did some wandering.  French-style baked beans, soaked and then baked in oil, sounded delightful.  Having no oven this week, yet again (that’s another story of measuring tapes and overly-complicated websites which will likely remain untold), I had to use the oven downstairs in the empty apartment below us.  Thank God for empty apartments :).

SO.  I started soaking.  Given the oil-cooking, these babies needed a double soaking, and in retrospect could probably have used a third, or a couple days of sprouting. I get ahead of myself.

4c small white beans to start.

pour boiling water over them, leave in a warm place for 12 hours. Drain and repeat.

In case you’re wondering? Don’t put your water on to boil in your only 2Q saucepan and go to bed.  It’s not a good idea.  Thankfully dear husband was up working and smelled something a bit funny.  By then it was too late to rescue the pan, bah humbug. 

Back to the recipe. Right.

Drain them again.

In a flameproof casserole, heat and mix:

  • the beans
  • 1 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sm can tomato paste
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
  • several sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together (i subbed about 1/2 t. dried)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bake @ 300 for about 6 hours, stirring occasionally.  If you’re not running down the steps to another apartment to do the stirring, count your blessings :).  You can add olive oil if they seem dry.  They’re done when soft, but not mushy like beans cooked in liquid.

Remove thyme.  Then fold in:

  • 2 med red onions, diced small
  • juice of 2 lemons

mmmmmmmmmm.   delicious, and a bit deadly in typical bean-reaction department.  fynn got to use his favorite fart word frequently in the next 24 hours :)  despite his pose, they all  liked them pretty well actually!  the’ll be made again, hopefully not as the main dish, they’re better as a side I think.  Enjoy!