Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bean Stew

A great recipe for meat eaters or vegetarians, this bean stew is delicious with or without bacon. Great with almost all starchy side dishes, although I think it makes great comfort food when served with garlic bread, polenta or creamy mashed potato.
The maple syrup gives the casserole a lovely, smokey flavour, but if you are conscious of using sugar in any form, it could be reduced to 1 1/2 tbsp.

If you don't have a casserole dish that can be used on the hob, the stew can be made in a large saucepan, then transferred to a lidded casserole dish for cooking in the oven. Alternatively, it could be simmered on the hob, but I always find that it 'catches' on the bottom, and ultimately takes longer to cook due to loosing heat every time the lid is removed for stirring.

1 Onion, diced
1 clove Garlic, crushed
100g-150g diced bacon, or chopped back bacon (optional)
1 tin Cannellini beans
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 medium carrots, diced
1-2 parsnips, diced
250ml Vegetable stock
2tsp soy sauce
3tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
3tbsp corn flour
few drops kaitaia fire, or tabasco sauce, to taste

Using an casserole dish that can also be used on the hob, Fry the onions and garlic until soft. Add bacon if you are using it, and fry until the fat runs. Add paprika and cornflour, and stir until well coated.
Add the tinned tomatoes, soy sauce, maple syrup, thyme, kaitaia fire and stock. Stir well. Bring to the boil. Add beans and veg. Transfer to the oven & cook at 180deg C for 1 hour.

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