Braised beans

Braised beans

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy

You will need to start this the night before, to allow time for the beans to soak.


Quantity Ingredient
250g dried haricot, cannellini or flageolet beans
2 shallots
2 garlic cloves
1/2 anchovy fillet in oil
1 thyme sprig
3 oregano sprigs
2 tomatoes
5 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
150ml white wine
300ml Chicken and veal stock
1 bay leaf
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place the dried beans in a large bowl, cover with plenty of cold water and leave to soak overnight.
  2. The next day, drain the beans, put into a saucepan and cover with fresh cold water. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and cook, uncovered, at a gentle simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave the beans to cool in the cooking liquid. Drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, halve, peel and finely dice the shallots and peel and crush the garlic. Drain and chop the anchovy. Finely chop enough thyme leaves to give you ½ teaspoon and enough oregano to give you 1 teaspoon.
  4. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds, then refresh in cold water, dry and peel. Quarter, deseed and dice them, then set aside.
  5. After draining the beans, return the pan to a low heat and add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the shallots and sweat until soft. Add the garlic and anchovy and cook for 1 minute, allowing the anchovy to soften and break up into the shallots.
  6. Add the drained beans and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil with the wine, stock, bay leaf, thyme and oregano.
  7. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for up to 1 hour until the beans are tender; the liquid should be reduced to a well-flavoured sauce. Check every 15–20 minutes, as you may need to add some water if they are drying out.
  8. Remove the bay leaf and, if there is too much liquid, drain the beans in a sieve over a bowl, then taste the sauce. If it seems weak, return the sauce to the pan and reduce until it has developed in flavour, then add back the beans. If the sauce already has a good flavour, use only enough to moisten the beans.
  9. Taste and season the beans, add the diced tomatoes and drizzle over a little olive oil. Delicious served with lamb or chicken.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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