Last night I made a big pot o’ beans.
All day long I soaked a pound of dried Cranberry Beans in a big bowl of water, changing the water out twice. Then I dumped the drained beans into a stew pot, added 2 dried bay leaves, a cup of Garlic Confit – cloves, oil, and all. For extra measure I dumped in a heaping Tablespoon of minced Garlic and two sprigs of fresh Sage too. I added just enough water to cover the beans by 1″ then put the pot on the stove. I brought it to a boil and then turned the heat down to simmer and let it be, stirring every once in a while, for about 2 hours. After an hour I kept tasting the beans to test for doneness – what I mean by that is whether or not they were edible, then whether or not they were easily chewed, then how they melted in my mouth, then finally for flavor.
When I thought they were done cooking it was time for flavoring. Since salt can cause beans to be tough, wait to add it til the end. I added in the salt 1/2 teaspoon at a time, probably using 2 1/2 teaspoons, to get the flavor right. Added in several cranks of fresh pepper too.
Then I let it cool.
Of course, I had to keep making sure it tasted good.
Luckily, I had a fresh baguette just begging to be torn apart and dunked into the beans.
Luckily, I had to keep passing by the beans.
Luckily, I had to tend to toddlers and floor sweeping and bedtimes…and couldn’t sit with the big pot of beans all night long, dunking my fresh bread in and then licking the pot clean. Because that’s what I really wanted to do.
Cranberry Beans by Me
1 lb. dried Cranberry Beans, rinsed and drained then left to soak 8+ hours
2 dried Bay Leaves
1 cup Garlic Confit – oil and cloves together
1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
2 sprigs Fresh Sage
Water, just enough to cover
1- If you haven’t already, soak your beans.
2- In your big pot dump the beans, bay leaves, garlic confit, minced garlic, and fresh sage. Stir to mix then add in just a bit of water – just enough to cover the beans by about an inch.
3- Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and keep them simmering for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. Start tasting the beans for doneness at about the 1 hour mark.
4- Either serve right away or let them cool and skim off the skin on top. You can serve these hot, cold, re-heated… any way you’d like!
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