This is something that is really filling and warms up the house as it cooks, is really cheap to make, tastes fantastic and fills the house with welcoming homely smells. It is really easy to make and any left overs can be frozen or stored for up to seven days in the fridge (I'm having some for lunch today).
375g dried cannellini beans (or red kidney or borlotti beans) soaked
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion diced or 20cm of leek diced
3 cloves garlic chopped
2 carrots diced
2 rashes bacon diced
2 red capsicum diced
1 green capsicum diced
1 400 gm tin diced tomatoes with juice
2 generous tablespoons ajvar (paprika relish which you can get from your deli)
2 generous tablespoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs of thyme
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander
salt and pepper to taste
enough water to cover the beans
1/4 cup maple syprup (or treacle, golden syprup or honey)
Pop the oven onto 160 degrees celcius. Rinse the soaked beans, put them into a pot covering them with cold water, then bring it to a boil, then strain & rinse with cold water.
Whilst the beans are cooking, heat the oil in a a large cast iron casserole dish and saute onion/leek, garlic, carrot and bacon for 5 minutes, then add the capsicum. Puree the tomato with a stick blender and add to the casserole dish with beans, ajvar, tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme, sweet paprika, coriander, salt & pepper. Mix well and add enough water to cover the beans by about 5 cm. Put the casserole dish into the oven with lid on & bake for at least 4 hours stirring at least every 2 hours. Make sure that it is not getting too dry, if so, add a little more water and turn the temperature down a little.
After 4 hours, add the maple syrup and any extra salt & pepper if needed. The sauce should be nice & rich by now.
If too thick, add more water.
If too runny, increase oven temperature and continue to cook.
We like to have it with baked potatoes that I pop into the oven 40 minutes before it finishes cooking, coleslaw and grated cheese. What would you like to have with it?