- 500g dried red kidney beans
- 350g piece bacon, with rind
Bacon is pork that has been cured one of two ways: dry or wet. It can be bought as both rashers…
- 1 onion, peeled and studded with 2 cloves
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- large bouquet garni
- 4 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 400ml red wine
Generously cover the beans with cold water and leave to soak overnight, then drain.
Heat the oven to 160C/Gas 3/fan oven 140C. Cut the bacon rind off in one piece and put it in the bottom of a medium-sized casserole. Add the beans, onion, bouquet garni, garlic and some pepper and bury the meat in the beans. Pour in enough water to cover the beans generously and add the lid. Bake until the beans are very soft and a few start to burst. This can take 1-3 hours, depending on the age and type of bean and the thickness of the pot, so check occasionally to see how they are doing. If the beans begin to dry, add more water. The liquid should have evaporated so that the beans are moist but not soupy. If the liquid is too thin, take the lid off for the last half hour’s cooking, or at the end of cooking, boil the pot on top of the stove to evaporate the liquid.
When the beans are tender, stir in the wine and some salt and pepper. Cover and leave to cool for about an hour, so the beans absorb the wine. Remove the bacon and discard the onion and bouquet garni. Dice the bacon and stir it into the beans. The bacon rind can be discarded, or diced and added to the pot.
Reheat the beans and, if too much liquid remains, boil to reduce it. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve.
For a main course
Serve with roast pork or lamb, or sausages. Add a tasty bread and a crisp side salad to serve.