Old Archades Beans

Old Archades“Maybe if I ‘ave a chat with me mum I’ll forget about me empty belly.”

—FFXII

These beans can be served with ground pepper and drizzled with olive oil for an inexpensive meal.  If you want to be especially frugal, save the cooking liquid for Balfonheim Bean Soup.

  • 1.5 lb. dried white kidney beans (about 3 cups)
  • 12 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 1 garlic bulb, cut in half to expose cloves
  • 1 large fresh rosemary sprig
  • ½ tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • Parmesan rind, if you have one
  • ½ tbsp. coarse kosher salt

Place beans in a large bowl.  Cover with room-temperature water (if you have hard tap water, use purified drinking water).  Discard any beans that are floating.  Soak at least 8 hours and no longer than 12 hours.  Check the beans occasionally and add more water if needed to keep beans covered.

Transfer beans to a colander, discarding the soak water.  Rinse well.  Place in a large pot.  Add broth and olive oil and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Meanwhile, tie up the garlic, rosemary, peppercorns, and parmesan rind in cheesecloth and add to the pot.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Discard cheesecloth bundle.  Add salt and continue to simmer until beans are tender, about 30 minutes to 1 hour longer.  Remove pot from heat, cover, and let cool for 1 hour.

Using slotted spoon, transfer beans to serving bowl.  Reserve bean cooking liquid, if making soup.  Makes about 9 cups of cooked beans.

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