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Healthy Eating, Mains

Beans with sausages and tomatoes

I've always hated beans. Black beans, cranberry beans, kidney beans and, most especially, lima beans. I didn't care that beans were, arguably, the world's most important food crop. I hated them anyway, right up until one dark and windy night ... Read more

Total time: 3 1/2 hours, plus 8 hours soaking | Serves 8
  • 1 pound, 2 ounces dried kidney or Taylor beans, about 3 cups
  • 4 ounces duck fat
  • 4 large spicy pork sausages
  • 1/4 pound smoked bacon
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • Bouquet garni
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and quartered, or 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Step 1Place the beans in a bowl; cover by 3 inches with cold water. Soak 8 hours. Drain. Cook in boiling water 30 minutes, then drain.

Step 2In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the fat over medium-high heat. Fry the sausages until browned. Remove from the pan, reduce heat to medium and add the onion. Cook until golden, 5 minutes. Add the bacon, beans, bouquet garni, garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Add cold water to cover. Cook uncovered, 1 1/2 hours. Check the seasoning. Add the carrots and tomatoes. Cook 30 minutes, then set sausages on top, check seasoning, and cook until the water is just under the beans and thick, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Note: Adapted from Pierre Koffmann's 1990 book, "Memories of Gascony." Duck fat is sold frozen at specialty markets. For a bouquet garni, knot 3 sprigs thyme, 1 sprig rosemary, 2 sage leaves and 4 sprigs parsley in cheesecloth.
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