A classic from Greece that we’ve been wanting to do for ages – really Greek Baked Beans, but much more exciting than the tinned variety we’re used to! We served these with barbecued sausages but they’d go with any grilled meat, or just as they are with some crumbled feta cheese over the top.
Gigantes Plaki – a huge pot full
- 500g dried butter beans
- olive oil
- an onion, finely chopped
- 3 rashers top quality smoked streaky bacon
- 4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
- 2 carrots, finely sliced
- 4 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- small bunch flat parsley
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- red wine vinegar
Soak the butterbeans overnight in plenty of cold water.
The next day, drain the beans, put them in the pan and cover again with lots of cold water. Put the pan on a high heat and when it comes to the boil, turn the heat down and leave to simmer gently for about an hour, or until soft and tender (this can take quite a bit longer if your beans are old). Skim off any foam that comes to the top as they cook. Drain in a colander and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4, put a lug of olive oil into a big casserole on a medium heat and gently fry the onion and bacon, for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes, then add the carrots, fresh tomatoes, tomato puree and bay leaves. Chop the parsley and stir it in too. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and lots of seasoning. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
Add some more seasoning and tip in the drained beans. Stir well, then cover the pan with a lid and cook in the oven for 1 hour, until the beans are really soft and a lot of the liquid has been absorbed.
Original recipe in Jamie does…
Wine suggestion: A juicy and easy Cotes du Rhone Villages.