White beans with a frizzled slab of bacon, a slosh of wine and a handful of herbs, finished off with slices of spicy chorizo sausage ... Oh yeah! Bring it on!
250g (about 8 oz) dried white navy beans (or flageolet beans) 75g (2-3 oz) piece speck, pancetta or slab bacon, chopped 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped 2 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds 1 stick celery, trimmed and sliced 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced Handful of herbs (bay leaves, sprigs of thyme, sprig of sage, parsley stalks and rosemary stalks) tied together with string ½ cup full-bodied red wine 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock 1 cup water Freshly ground black pepper to taste 400g (about 14 oz) fresh chorizo sausages Salt Finely grated zest ½ an orange ½ small jar Spanish piquillo peppers, drained and sliced ½ cup black kalamata olives, pitted, or pitted Moroccan olives 2 Tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
1 Soak beans in plenty of cold water overnight. Drain.
2 Put bacon and 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy-based casserole and set pan over a medium heat. Sizzle bacon for several minutes until crisp. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cover pan with a lid, lower heat and cook gently until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, drained beans and bundle of herbs.
Pour in the wine, stock and ½ cup water. Grind on black pepper to taste. Bring up to the boil, lower heat, cover casserole with a lid and cook gently for about 1 hour, or until the beans are tender; add more water if necessary during cooking. If cooking in a slow cooker, cook on High for 2-3 hours.
3 Fry sausages in in a smallish frying pan (skillet) in 1 tablespoon oil. Transfer to a chopping board and slice. Season beans with salt and pepper and stir through orange zest. Add sausages to beans, tucking them in. Strew the top with the peppers, olives, and parsley. Serve immediately.
I used a char-grilled red pepper (bell pepper / capsicum) in the photograph (charred, blackened skin removed, halved, deseeded and sliced). If using Spanish canned piquillo peppers, they’re ready to go, just drain and slice thickly.
Read about flageolet beans here