Dec 5, 2012

(Re) Braised Pinto and Cannellini Beans and Onions

Even though it's still technically fall (and it's actually warmer than it was for most of November), the calendar says December and that puts me in mind of winter, particularly braised dishes. And so, this month, that's the majority of what I'll be cooking -- vegetarian (and gluten-free) braises. While beef (and other meats) are what first come to mind, braising doesn't have to mean "meat". It just means cooking foods in liquid over a low temperature for a nice amount of time. "Low and slow," as they say. And braised beans and vegetables are delicious. So while I do miss pot roasts and briskets, this month we'll be exploring what else we can braise.

My first thought when I picked this month's "theme" was: "But I just made braised beans!" And, wanting something easy, I decided to use that recipe as my starting point. But, being me, I tweaked it a bit the second time around.

First off, I still had plenty of cooked pinto beans so I wasn't about to make another batch. That would just be wasteful, you see! Also, the vegetarian and I have been trading a cold back and forth for the last few weeks so I wanted to inundate us with onions to try and finally blast it out of us.

So I devised a way to quickly braise the already-cooked beans. This works equally well with canned beans if you don't have any homemade on-hand. And if you don't like onions, feel free to reduce them. This makes a LOT of onions, so much so that they become a main component of the dish rather than just a seasoning. Serve over mashed steamed potatoes with Cabernet Sauvignon. If, like us, you have leftovers, make a stir-fry with bean threads. Bon appetit!

Braised Pinto and Cannellini Beans and Onions
Heat broths in a pan large enough to hold all the ingredients (I used a roasting pan over 2 burners) over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute 3 minutes. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Add beans and allspice, reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes (if you have a big enough lid you can cover your pan but it's not necessary). Garnish with parsley. Enjoy!


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