Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pseudo Italian White Bean Stew

With the colder weather hitting the East Coast, I decided to use the new pressure cooker to whip up a white bean and sausage stew. Generally, beans take way too much planning and time to make from scratch - overnight soak, then another 60 minutes to cook 'em. But, the pressure cooker is so damn convenient - 5 minute "pressure soak" and another 5 minute "pressure cook."

Double benefit for buying raw beans is the cost is phenomenal @ 47 cents for 3 cups which is good for 6 peeps. I don't think I've ever paid 47c for anything in the past 5 years. Also, the texture and flavor on these things are amazing - firm, yet creamy. After you make beans at home, you'll never go back to buying the canned stuff.

3 cups raw cannellini beans
1 carrot - peeled and cut into large dice
1 red onion diced
5 stalks of collard greens sliced
2 sausages (I used stone barns which are phenomenal)
1 garlic clove minced
4 stalks thyme - leaves only, minced
2 stalks rosemary - leaves only, minced
multigrain bread
6 cups chicken stock
extra virgin olive oil

1) Pressure soak the beans to remove the compounds that make you "toot," remove the nastiness coating some of the beans, and make it much quicker to cook. Do this by adding the beans and 6 cups water (double amount of beans) to the pressure cooker. Get the pressure cooker to do it's pressure thang, then cook for 5 minutes and set aside. Once the pressure subsides (another 5 minutes), take the beans out and rinse everything. This normally is soaked overnight, so you saved a ton of time.

2) Sear the sausages over medium heat in the pressure cooker uncovered. Once browned on both sides remove and place in a pyrex container. There should be a good amount of sausage fat/juice to start the flavor base for the stew.

3) Finish the sausage in the oven at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Let rest for 5-10 minutes and slice.

4) Start pressure cooking the stew by adding the thyme, rosemary, carrots, garlic, onions, soaked/rinsed beans, and chicken stock. Get the pressure going, then cook for 5 minutes and set aside. Once the pressure subsides, open up the pressure cooker. Finish by adding the sausage pieces with it's juices, olive oil, and season gently. Season again and repeat until you like the taste. Finish with parmiggiano-reggiano. Make sure you have some bread to soak up the juices since it's pretty damn tasty. Buon appetito!

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