I've been focusing a lot on travel and our recent trip to Italy lately, and thought I'd bring it back to France for a hot minute. As much as we loved stuffing our faces with pizza, risotto, gnocchi, gelato and the like for 10 days, we also dearly missed cooking for ourselves, since that's pretty much our favorite thing in the world to do together. And in a effort to keep up with my "12 in 2012," I figured that I'd share with you this recipe for a choux frisé black bean stew that I made last night, mostly because I'm surprised at how good it turned out. As Doc was getting ready to leave work I sent him a message with a random assortment of veggies for him to pick up that I was planning to put together for a stew, and it came out much better than I thought, especially since I had to sub-out red wine vinegar for apple cider vinegar when I hadn't realized we were out of the former.
This recipe is definitely a loose one, as where with some recipes I measure out ingredients like its my job, for stews and soups I tend to eyeball it a bit more.
Sidenote: I also cook like I'm cooking for a family of 12 at all times (we like leftovers), so you may want to halve or even quarter this depending on how many people you're making it for.
2 cups of dried black beans/or the equivalent in canned black beans
12 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces (we really like carrots)
1 medium sized celeriac, diced (celery root)
2 red onions, diced
4-6 leaves of choux frisé, chopped (it's a green cabbage, almost of the same consistency as kale)
Apple Cider Vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
About 15 cups of chicken broth (Obviously you could use vegetable broth as well...)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Soak dried black beans in 8 cups of water for about 4 hours. Drain and rinse.
2. In a large soup pot (a really big one if you're following the amounts above), put black beans and 8 cups of fresh water and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling turn down the heat to medium-low and partially cover for an hour to an hour and half, stirring every so often. The beans are done when they are at the consistency you like, so try them after an hour or so...
3. Add remaning ingredients. You may want to add more or less chicken broth depending on how much liquid you like in your stew. I didn't measure out how much olive oil or vinegar, as that is a matter of taste, and we like vinegar a lot. (I'd even go as far as to say that we "like like it...") Bring this next mixture to a boil, uncovered, and then partially cover and reduce to simmer for an hour to an hour and a half.
4. Dish up and eat!
Notes: I think next time I'd add some grated gruyere cheese at the end, as well as a fresh chopped herb to sprinkle in. Fresh parsley would have gone nicely in this stew. Steak or lardon could also be added, but we were lardon-less so we were unable to get our lard-ON. If you have trouble finding black beans in your part of the world (ehem, I'm looking at you France), I think any other type of bean would work nicely as well.
Let me know if you try it out and what you think/any suggestions you may have!
A la prochaine friends...