Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Prebranac (Bosnian Baked Beans)

I'm not a big fan of tinned baked beans, I don't mind them but I tend to find them a bit on the mushy side and I'm always shocked to see just how many of them have cheese in them (mmmm tinned cheese... ). However, I have often though about making my own tasty and less overcooked version but I've never got my hands on the haricot beans to do it. This is the closest I have ever come - although to be honest they aren't completely baked as such... they're more boiled and then baked. But why are we splitting hairs when we should be eating beans?

This is a pretty common dish on the internet under Bosnian recipes. It is very simple and relatively effort free to make - all you need to have is a bit of time to let the beans cook. One thing I should note is that this makes a HUGE amount of beans!! Originally I thought I would halve the recipe before I posted it online because I had sooooo much leftover! However, I decided instead to post it as it is because I found that I loved having these great tasty generic beans in the fridge and I used them in everything! Not joking, here is a few examples (note: these photos aren't my best - I just snapped them quickly before eating my lunch!):

Stir through your pasta!
Add to your salads
Into your minestrone or any other soups!
Seriously, you can use a couple of cups of these in any thing that you might use a tin of beans for! They're more flavoursome, less mushy and have a bonus of not having been stored in a tin can for goodness knows how long! They are also delicious as just beans on toast, but I didn't get a picture of that. So - if you want wonderful beans in the fridge for ages to add to everything then make the recipe in full. If you just want enough to feed about 4-5 people then halve it and if you really only want it for one meal for two people then you had probably better quarter it.

700g small white beans of your choice (I used Great Northern Beans), soaked for 24 hours
6-7 onions, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 tsp salt
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp oil for frying
3 heaped tsp sweet paprika
1 heaped tsp smoky paprika
3 tbsp tomato paste
Pepper to taste

To Make
1. Fill a large pot with cold water and add the beans. Bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes. Drain the water and replace with hot water.
2. Add the salt and bay leaves to the beans and hot water. Cover and simmer on a medium heat for about 40 minutes, or until the beans are almost cooked.
3. Add the carrots and simmer for another 10 minutes. The beans should now be soft and the skins split.
4. Drain and set the beans and liquids aside separately (you can leave the bay leaves with the beans).
5. Heat the oil in a large fry pan and fry all the onion until transparent and starting to brown. Add the paprika and fry for a further minute.
6. Take a big baking dish and add the beans and onions to it. Take 2 cups of the hot broth that you set aside before and dissolve the tomato paste into it. Add it to the baking dish along with another 2 cups of the broth and stir everything well.
7. Cover and bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until it starts to look browned on the top.

Best served with delicious Bosnian Razlevjak (Cornbread)!

1 comment:

  1. These baked beans look so flavoursome - love them :D

    Choc Chip Uru