This has been bookmarked for anyone else who wants to try it on the virtual recipe drawer that is Bookmarked Recipes - your one-stop shop for tried and tested recipes from the food blogger community updated every Monday this week hosted by Ivy at Kopiaste...to Greek hospitality.
I'm not sure if the berry beer (beer flavoured with berries) which she mentions has really taken off in the UK yet - though berry cider seems to have - and some can be really good. As I was accompanying these beans with hake I decided against the berry flavours and used Cotswold Way ale. I liked the idea of molasses - this is what you should use in a traditional Boston beans which gives it a deep strong flavour (it's hard to resist the assosciation with liquorice allsorts when you taste it).
If you're using red kidney beans, or, as I was here, cannellini beans make sure you bring them to the boil and boil them rapidly for 10 minutes before simmering/ braising - we don't want any nasty food poisoning outbreaks!..... I used:
500g cannellini beans
1 - 2 onions
1/4 cup of molasses (+ the little bit that spills over the top)
1 tbsp dijon mustard
Chilli - well you decide how much you like
A 500ml bottle of Cotswold Way ale
Chicken/ vegetable stock
Soak the beans overnight. Drain them. Add to boiling water, bring back to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes. Then drain them and wash them through in hot water (keeps the heat). Meanwhile sweat the onion. Then add the rest of the ingredients to the pan (excluding the beans which are still boiling). Bring this the boil and transfer to a deep baking tin along with the beans. Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 180 oC for around 2 - 2 1/2 hours.
As Heidi mentions it's an idea to check them every 25 minutes after an hour or so to see if they are soft or have run out of liquid. If they have dried up and need more liquid add a little more stock or water.
Ideally you want the juice to be mostly all absorbed as above. If the beans are cooked and ready before this you can put them on the stove top, uncover them and boil off the excess liquid.
Season with salt and pepper, and paprika too if you like.
You could also add bacon/ pancetta lardons, kabanos, belly pork, sweetcorn - all these would give it an extra flavour.
Eat warm on their own as an accompaniment (I accompanied these with hake), with cold meats, or just on their own with fresh bread.
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