Last semester, I went crazy and bought almost every single kind of dried bean available at Wal-Mart. I wanted to eat them all, but the rinsing, soaking, cooking, simmering process was too much for me once my schedule got busier. I had chickpeas left which I am eating in couscous salads now and then and making hummus with so that is almost gone. But I still had almost a full bag of red kidney beans. I had no idea what to do with those. I didn't want to cook them to eat them in salads. I didn't feel like making soup again since I had made Chicken Tortilla a while ago. But then I stumbled upon this Kidney Bean Stew recipe. I thought it seemed fancier than what I would normally make because of the wine (ha!) so I left the page open in my browser for days until I had a free morning to make it. It was a long cooking process! An hour for the beans and an hour and a half for the stew in the oven. Must find some ways to kill time. Read I Capture the Castle. Play "Bridge Over Troubled Water" on the piano. Play with my dogs. Watch Hell's Kitchen. Pick out an outfit for work. Oh, the stew's done!
Halfway through the baking time, I knew I picked a good recipe just by the smell. It really smelled amazing. I loved that the tomato paste is browned too and the wine adds a nice deep flavor. Of course, it probably would've been better if I had followed the recipe exactly and not forgotten to add more tomato paste. I don't know why I thought I should add one tablespoon when I should really be adding 2. Still great, but next time, I will definitely remember the correct amount of tomato paste. I also used a baking pan because I don't have an oven-safe pot of any kind, but still worked!
Kidney Bean Stew [Makes 2 servings]
Adapted from Taste Space
- 3/4 cup dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 5 large baby carrots, diced
- 1 large clove garlic, chopped
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- assorted herbs
1. Rinse the soaked beans and drain. Combine beans and 4 cups of fresh water in a pot over medium heat. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, partly covered, for one hour.
2. With around 20 minutes until the beans are finished, preheat the oven to 275 F. Warm the oil in an oven-proof pot over medium heat and cook the onion and carrot, along with a pinch of salt, for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, if using, and cook for 1 minute more. Add the tomato paste and brown. Be sure to stir once in a while so nothing sticks, but the brown stuff on the bottom of the pan is where all the flavour is.
3. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, and then increase the heat, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the vinegar and bay leaf, and finally the beans with their water. Tie a bouquet garni made up of the fresh herbs and bay leaf (can also put inside an empty tea sachet meant for loose tea) and add it to the pot. Also add any additional water necessary to barely cover the beans.
4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and place in the oven. Bake in the oven, covered, for 1.5 hours, then uncover for the last 1/2 hour. Remove the bouquet garni and bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper. Serve with minced parsley sprinkled over the top and a piece of whole-wheat bread on the side.