Sunday, March 3, 2019

My Big Fat Greek Baked Beans – Finally!

As I may have mentioned on Twitter several times, Michele and I have both been sick all week, so please pardon the lateness, and brevity of this post. The good news is this Greek-style baked beans recipe is very simple, and there’s not a lot of extra info I need to pass along.

One thing I will mention is that while these are baking, be sure to peek once in a while to see if you need to add more liquid. You can bake covered, but then you don’t get the crustification on top, so I prefer to bake uncovered, and stir in a splash of water, or two, if it looks like it’s getting too dry.

If you can find gigante beans, they really are the best, but Conona beans also work great, as will any other large dried bean. Just be sure to soak them properly, and simmer them until tender before proceeding to the baking step. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m climbing into my big, fat bed. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 12 portions:
1 pound dried Gigante, Conona, Lima, or other large dried bean (soaked overnight)
3 quarts cold fresh water to boil in
2 bay leaves
1 large red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 cups tomato sauce or finely chopped fresh tomato
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons clover honey
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for the top
1 tablespoon kosher salt (2 teaspoon if using fine table salt)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
cayenne to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups water, plus more as needed while baking
4 ounces feta cheese for the top
- Bake at 350 F. until beans are soft


S/V Blondie-Dog said...

Greetings Chef!... Sorry to hear that 'dat you and 'yor bride ain't feeling so well but I gotta' tell ya', last time I checked there ain't no such thing as a Greek recipe without yogurt in there somewheres'. 'Dem folks even puts in their breakfast cornflakes last time I checked.

Anywho's my finicky E.R.-nurse lady-friend suggests dat' ya' both drinks plenty of fluids. Preferably single malt 'cuz 'dats what she do's when she be feeling under the weather. Thanks! You're da' best!

James said...

So I try not to use liquor in my food. Is there a replacement for the vinegar or can I just leave it out?

Unknown said...

I really want to try this. I will have trouble getting the kinds of beans described in the recipe. Kidney beans are the only ones I can get my hands on that aren't "pre-sauced". Any guyss as to how that'll work for me? Thanks in advance!
Kind regards,

Tom Stanley said...

The blogpost ingredient list calls for 1/2 cup olive oil but it's not mentioned in the video. :)

Athena said...

Chef, Could a slow cooker be used instead of the oven in the baking process? Low and slow?

tintinona said...

Great recipe, thank you 🙏
Such a comforting dish for cold day.

LiamTheBarMan said...

Chef Jon, you have outdone yourself! I am such a huge fan of all your videos. Prolific only begins to describe your contribution to the inquisitive chef community. Is this technique a true original idea? what was the catalyst for inspiration for the dish?

Mike said...

Looks amazing! Thank you chef John.

Unknown said...

Ahhhhhmmmazing....the best baked beans ever. We're sold on these for every occasion... thank you ! Our first effort was in a hurry, so we used canned gigante beans- which worked well, the dried ones we cooked worked even better ! We will be sharing these with our friends and family for years to come.

Unknown said...

These were great right after cooked but 10x better after sitting in the fridge where the flavors set in. Mmmhmm!

Jackie Patti said...

In general for dried peas or beans, for each cup of beans you're soaking, add a quart of water and a glug of vinegar.

If you have hard water, also add a TB of unground salt (sodium displaces the calcium so they'll cook better).

If you have hard water, also add a pinch of baking soda to the water when cooking.

Hard water can make beans take forever to cook.

These are tricks learned after a couple decades living with well water that if it were just *slightly* harder, would be limestone.

Honestly, I tend to pressure cook beans anyways, as I can't be futzed with waiting forever to go on with the recipe. ;)

I also sometimes just soak every night and cook every night, different beans for a week, then freeze in pints so I have "canned beans" on hand for recipes. But that's advanced beanery. ;)

Spinni said...

@Jackie Patti: Cooking beans in hard water doesn't take much longer than in any other water. Adding baking soda can make your beans fall apart (I tried it because where I live the water is very hard, it produced "mushy bean soup"). Just add some salt to the cooking water and be done. Adding acidity is actually counterproductive. It keeps the beans from getting soft that's why you want them fully cooked before adding the sauce in this recipe, all that vinegar prevents them from getting softer in the oven.

A pressure cook is great if you eat a lot of beans.

My soaked gigante beans took only little over an hour in hard water in a normal pot to be fully cooked (and "hard water" here in Germany means something a lot "harder" than in the US, I checked.)

As for the recipe:
It is fantastic but I don't think it makes 12 portions, unless you serve it as an appetizer or a small side dish. I used about 300g of beans (2/3 of a pound) but didn't change the amount of the other ingredients. It was enough for my husband and me for dinner (served with flatbread) and one leftover portion for next day's lunch. I will make this again with a whole bag of beans (500g) and more sauce.

David Eckel said...

I used pinto beans, and they turned out great. An excellent choice for summer.

Unknown said...

I love Chef John, and this recipe looks and sounds amazing! One more question - can you make this with fava beans?