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Flageolet Bean Casserole

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“Sort of French baked beans--a gratin which is wonderful served alongside grilled or roasted meat, particularly lamb. From a James Peterson recipe. Cook time includes overnight soaking of the dried beans.”
READY IN:
14hrs 30mins
SERVES:
8-10
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 cups dried flageolet beans (may substitute cannellini or great northern beans)
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or unsalted butter or duck fat)
  • 12 lb prosciutto (an end cut which can sometimes be purchased cheaply will do beautifully, if not, get a thick slice)
  • 1 bouquet garni (parsley, bay leaf, sage leaves, thyme sprigs)
  • 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade and unsalted
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (or one cup canned diced tomatoes)
  • 4 slices white bread, slightly stale, crust removed (sandwich bread like Pepperidge Farm)

Directions

  1. Cover the beans in cold water by at least three inches of liquid and allow to soak overnight.
  2. When your beans have soaked, heat the onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat for about ten minutes.
  3. Add prosciutto (if the end--add it whole, if a slice, cut into dice and add), the drained beans, the stock and the bouquet garni.
  4. Bring to a simmer, partially cover the pot and continue to simmer very gently, stirring every twenty minutes or so (and adding additional broth or water if the beans become dry) for about one and a half hours or until the beans have softened completely.
  5. Stir the tomatoes into the beans and cook uncovered until the beans are no longer submerged in liquid.
  6. If you used a prosciutto end, remove it and peel off and discard the rind, chop the remaining meat and add back into the beans.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  8. Process the bread in your blender or food processor (or grate using the larger holes on your box grater).
  9. Spread the beans in an 8 - 12 cup gratin or baking dish.
  10. Sprinkle the surface with the bread crumbs and the remaining olive oil; bake for thirty minutes or until the surface is golden brown.

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