My grandmother was sitting in the kitchen almost the whole morning. On the wooden fire stove slowly, very, very slowly the beans have been cooking. She did not complain. With a mesmerising patience she was adding the necessary ingredients, each on its own time, the right time. The dish at the end was sublime. Cooked on slow fire, all flavours magically mixed together, softened, enhanced to perfection. My grandmother would look at us, hungrily devouring every bite in an ever-restless hurry to go back to our game in the garden and would ask if the dish was alright. All the reward she will get for her tiresome toil, our childish acknowledgement that the food is really tasty. I wish I had said more often that the food was divine. I wish…
Red beans is not a common dish in our modern daily diet. We do not have time to let the ingredients simmer until eternity and be bound to the kitchen for more that four hours. Yet, occasionally, when something steers my soul and the cry for days long gone by makes me move mountains to get closer to home, cooking my grandmother’s dish becomes a cleansing ritual, a family reward and a sumptuous delight.
- 250g red beans
- 250g pork cut in small pieces
- 250g tomato paprika can
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 chicken bullion
- black pepper
- red paprika powder
- 1l water
- fresh parsley
- fresh mint
1. Wash the red beans and let them souk in water over a night.
2. Change the water of the beans and let the boil for one hour until starting to get soft.
3. In another deep pot fry the speck until golden brown. Add the chopped onion and the chopped carrot and cover slightly with water. Let simmer for 10 minutes until the onion and the carrots and have slightly softened.
4. Drain the beans and add them to the pork, onion and carrots. Add the paprika tomato paste and add 250ml of water. Let simmer for at least one more hour.
5. When the beans have become softer and all the ingredients have started to come together, season with salt and black pepper, the paprika powder, the chicken bouillon and the fresh parsley and mint. Mix well and let simmer for additional half an hour, adding water occasionally if the dish starts to become too sticky and dry.
6. The beans are ready when they softly melt, without any hardness in a bite. Season with additional fresh mint and serve. Eats well on its own or with toasted slices of bread.