Since this thread attracts quite a few bean afficionados, I thought I wouldn't be wrong in sharing a recipe for what is considered a Macedonian staple dish- gravče na tavče (literally translated 'beans in a pan')- a very spicy baked beans that go well from side dish with BBQ or simple sunny side up eggs to stand-alone dish... I haven't seen anything of the sort on this site, so I thought you might enjoy trying something from 'lesser known' cuisines (which is IMHO quite delicious... I always eat it as a stand-alone dish).
Gravče na tavče
400 grams white beans (original variety is called 'tetovac'*, probably best substituted with cassoulet beans)
1.5 deciliter oil
250 grams onions
1-2 heaping tsp paprika
1 heaping Tsp tomato puree
2-3 cloves garlic
1 Tsp flour
2 hot peppers (chilles or pepperons), dried or preserved
2-3 fresh tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 bay leaf
1 Tsp Vegeta (Croatian all-purpose condiment, containing a number of root veggies, salt & MSG**)
salt, pepper to taste, mint to taste
Soak the beans overnight, discarding the water and cook in salted water until almost done (shouldn't in no circumstances be overcooked). Drain and reserve some of the cooking liquid. Lightly brown/sautee thinly sliced onions, add paprika, tomato paste, finely diced garlic and flour. Stir well and sautee a bit (keeping in mind that burning paprika will impart an unwanted bitter taste to the dish). Add beans with reserved liquid, Vegeta, bay leaf and diced hot chilles. Add salt and pepper to taste and boil shortly. Transfer to an earthenware, or similar ovenproof dish, cover with tomato slices and (deseeded and de-membraned) squares of fresh pepper, sprinkle with parsley (and mint should you choose to use it) and oil. Bake in preheated 220°C oven for 20-30 minutes.
This dish should be very hot and is excellent BBQ side-dish, but can be served with eggs or as stand-alone dish.
* the name means 'from Tetovo' (a Macedonian city)
** in my family we use a homemade condiment made with one bunch of parsley (roots and leaves), one bunch carrot, one bunch parsley and celery leaves each. All ingreadients (with stems removed) are run through meat grinder, drained of water, 20% of dried weight of salt is added, drained again and jarred. We usually substitute 1Tbsp of our condiment for 1tsp Vegeta. Added- a 'bunch' is a unit used in our marketsČ the way I understand/guesstimate it is that bunch of e.g. parsley is 1kg, whereas 1 bunch of parsley or celeriac leaves is the amount of leaves with stems one would get when buying a bunch of said vegetable and cutting off the roots.
I should conclude this post as chef John from FoodWishes with "I hope you try this soon and, as always- eeenjoy".