Friday, 13 December 2013

Dressing (Stuffing) Flavoured Baked Beans

It has been my opinion, ever since childhood, that the best part of a Christmas (or Thanksgiving, or turkeys-were-on-sale) turkey is the dressing, or stuffing. (We can discuss religion and politics and even computers at our dining table. But don't get us going on whether it's properly called dressing, or stuffing. You'll notice I waffle on the topic.) So I'm always interested in bringing that flavour profile to other dishes.

I'm going to have to come up with a lot of bean dishes this winter, since we ended up with jars and jars of dried beans. Seed selection for the win! Also, we just plain planted a lot. Anyway, here is my first new bean dish of the season, and I am declaring it a success. Apart from the fact that dried beans are always a bit slow on their journey from jar to table, this is very easy to make, and requires little attention as it cooks. We both thought it was really tasty.

These are my rare and exotic Deseronto Potato beans, but navy (pea) beans are readily available and should work perfectly well for this dish; really any mild white bean.

We were impressed by the Deseronto Potato beans, by the way. This was the first time we actually tried any even though it is our second year of growing them and we got a decent crop last year. Unfortunately, last year I put them away in a glass jar when I thought they were well dried down, but I was wrong, and they went mouldy. The seed beans were okay as I had stored them in paper bags, but it's been a long wait to try these. THIS year I made sure they were well dried in our food drier before they went into the storage jar!

4 to 6 servings
3 hours - 30 minutes prep time. NOT including pre-cooking the beans.

Dressing (Stuffing) Flavoured Baked Beans

2 cups (450 grams; 1 pound) dried white beans
2 recipes Poultry Seasoning
2 large onions
OR 4 to 6 shallots
6 stalks of celery
OR 2 cups peeled, finely diced celeriac
salt as needed
2 tablespoons sunflower seed oil
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

Put the beans (rinsed and picked over) into a large pot with plenty of water to cover them. Bring them to a boil, then turn off the heat and cover them, and let them sit and soak for an hour or so. Repeat the boiling and soaking one or two more times, until the beans are soft enough to eat. You can, and probably should, do this the day before you bake them.

When you are ready to proceed, mix up your poultry seasoning. If you decide to use canned beans, and your chicken stock is salted, you should probably omit the salt, as they will have plenty already. I found it necessary to use an extra teaspoon (so 2 teaspoons altogether) but neither my beans nor my chicken stock were pre-salted.

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Peel the onions or shallots, and chop them finely. Wash and trim the celery or celeriac, and chop it finely. Drain the beans well.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Cook the onions (shallots) and celery until fairly soft. Halfway through the process, add the poultry seasoning and mix it in well. Add the beans and mix them in well, then transfer everything to a 9" x 13" baking pan. Or you can mix them in the baking pan; whichever you think will be easier. Spread them out evenly and pour the chicken stock over them.

Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until starting to dry and brown just a bit on top. That's it; easy! We had ours with cole slaw.

Last year at this time I made Leek & Garlic White Bean (!) Soup, and Michael's Grandmother's Pickled Onions.


M@ said...

You've combined two of my favourites here, stuffing and beans... awesome!

So glad you're back! :)

Ferdzy said...

Thanks, M@.

Yeah, when I first thought of it I was kind of in awe at my own genius. If only I could those flashes of brilliance to visit more often! ;)