Giant Beans With Smoked Pork.......Warming For Cold Days

Giant Beans Uncooked

Giant Beans After Boiling

Earthenware clay casserole

Ready to Serve

                                                                   Giant beans are basically Greek.  They look like ordinary small white beans only they are three times bigger especially when they are cooked. The traditional way to cook them is with tomato sauce very slowly in the oven. I would like to share with you a concoction of mine with a slightly north European countryside touch: Giant Beans with smoked bacon, smoked pork ribs, and smoked pork sausages, thus giving the whole dish a smoky flavor perfect for a cold February day.
You will need:
Serves 6
-  500 gms of giant beans soaked in lots and lots of water overnight.
-  6-8 cloves of garlic crushed and finely chopped.
-  1 bunch of fresh parsley finely chopped.
-  1 chili chopped including the seeds.
-  200 gms of smoked cooked bacon in one piece cut into 1 inch squares.
-  6 smoked pork sausages.
-  Smoked and cooked pork ribs.
-  No Salt. No tomato.
-  2 Tbsp. Olive oil (prefer Greek extra virgin Kalamata olive oil).
-  1/2 cup dry white wine.
-  2 -3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce.
-  500 ml of beef broth.
-  Boil the already soaked giant beans in water over medium heat till they are 3/4 done slightly "al dente". Strain, throw away the liquid.
-  Add the oil in a pot over high heat. Add the giant beans, the garlic, parsley, chili,  worcestershire sauce and stir fry till the wonderful aroma of the garlic reaches you. 
-  Add the wine, stir till the alcohol is expelled.
-  Add the broth, stir, bring to a boil then add the pork, mix and stir.
-  Transfer the whole lot to an  earthenware casserole made of clay which has already been pre-heated in the oven.
Note:  Actually, this earthenware casserole belonged to my grandmother (father's side) from the island of Imvros. This casserole has been in the family for over 80 years! Just by heating this clay casserole in the oven empty you would think a most fantastic meal is being baked.
-  Bake for 1 hour at 200 degrees C or until the beans are nice and tender. Every now and then you should check for liquids, if you see the beans going dry on you add a little water.
-  Serve in the casserole with vapour spinach.
Suggested wine:  Beaujolais
Wish you a good appetite!!


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