I love beans. Green beans and dry beans, ya just can’t beat ’em. This recipe makes quite a pot of beans and is a great hearty meal on a cold winter’s day by itself or over rice. Make it up in the evening and let the crock pot work on it overnight and you’ll have a hearty breakfast in the morning, or start it in the morning for a dinner that’ll fill the belly and warm the soul.

I use smoked bacon, but it works just as well with smoked ham hocks. While this recipe doesn’t call for soaking the beans over night, if you do that it will significantly reduce their cooking time.

Ingredients –

  • 4 cups dry beans (I use a mix of pinto beans, lentils, garbanzo beans, black beans, small white beans, red beans, lima beans, etc.)
  • 7 medium sized carrots peeled and coarse chopped
  • 4 calcots or 2 medium onions chopped
  • 8 stalks green garlic chopped or 1 large head of garlic, peeled and the cloves coarse chopped
  • 1 bunch leaf celery chopped. Reserve the chopped leaves.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup wine (if using chicken or vegetable stock use white or blush wine, if using beef stock use red wine)
  • 3 C water
  • 1 lb. bacon chopped.

Method –

  • In a large pan, rinse the beans until the water runs clear
  • Drain most of the water off and pour the beans into a pan just big enough to hold them and fill with water (about 3 cups). Set aside.
  • In a large stock pan (8 quart or a bit bigger) heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil on high untill it’s very hot but not smoking.
  • Add the vegetables and toss to coat, then reduce heat to medium and cook until they begin to soften.
  • When the vegetables begin to soften add the wine to deglaze the pan, then add the stock and celery leaves. Stir to incorporate.
  • Increase the heat, bring to a simmer and add the bacon. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the beans and their water as well as the peppers and their sauce.
  • Simmer for another 5 minutes then put in a crock pot and cook on high until the beans are tender, about 6 hours.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with sour cream and your favorite hot sauce.
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