Wish Upon A Dish: Braised White Beans 101

January 3, 2012

Braised White Beans 101

You can't convince people to eat more beans if you don't show them how to infuse huge amounts of flavor while slowly braising them in the oven.

So easy, so simple and so low maintenance. We all love that in cooking.

You make these beans you will never used canned white beans again. This method is for all white beans which, because they are usually used in soups and with vegetables, need a bump up in flavor.
Soaking the beans in salted water (brine) helps the skins to tighten up and hold the meat so they do not turn to mush (trust me it works). Just remember if you brine your beans, always throw the soaking water away.

Oven Braised White Beans
Makes: 3 cups
* 1 bag of navy beans, soaked overnight in salted water
* 1 large whole garlic clove or two small ones
* 10 whole peppercorns
* 1 large bay leaf
* 3 sprigs of thyme
* 2-3 parsley stems (reserve the tops for the soup)
* drizzle of olive oil

1. Place beans and aromatics in a small saucepan. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Cover beans with water level with the beans, cover pot with lid and slide into the oven. Set timer for 20 minutes.
3. After first 20 minutes, stir the beans and top with warm water if needed (always keep the beans submerged). Lower the oven to 350° and set the timer for another 20 minutes.
4. After the second 20 minutes, replace the water (I used a total of 1 cup replacement water) and add 2 teaspoons of salt. Set the timer for the last 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the oven, remove the herbs and bay leaf. With a slotted spoon, remove to container and pour in enough braising liquid to cover the beans. Can be kept in the fridge for 4-5 days before using.


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