Cooking Dry Beans
Back to basics!
How to cook dry beans...
New registered haricot bean varieties Capulet (a conventional navy) and Godiva (a blonde kidney) are a convenient and versatile ingredient for a wide range of recipes.
Cooking these bean varieties from dry ingredient is as simple as brewing tea and cooking pasta.
Rinse 1 : Wash dry beans in a colander with cold tap water (after cooking, 200g of dry beans will be about the equivalent to a standard 400g tin of beans)
Soak (tea step) : Transfer rinsed beans into a cooking pot, and cover with boiled water from a kettle. Soak at least 1 hr.
Tip: do this step when you make your morning tea and they’ll be ready to cook for the evening meal!
Rinse 2 : Pour beans back into colander and wash with cold tap water. Drain and transfer back to the cooking pot.
Cook (pasta step) : Cover beans with hot water from a kettle, and heat on high to start boiling, then reduce to medium heat and continue boiling gently for 15 min.
Steep (optional) : After 15 min, the beans will be firm but edible (al dente). To soften further, switch off the heat, place a lid on the pot and let stand for 10 min. Simmer additional 10 - 15 min on low heat if you prefer beans to be really soft, such as for mashing or soup.
Suggestions for basic bean prep:
• For flavour, add a bay leaf, sprig of thyme or savory, and/or a couple garlic cloves when you start boiling step (after Rinse 2).
• To add more flavour, replace water after 15 min boiling (the ‘pasta step’) with a bottle of cider or beer, or a tin of tomatoes. Don’t add earlier because beans will not soften in acidic water.
• For closed-loop eating, combine cooked beans with other British grown ingredients like parsnips, leek and kale.
• Add a bit of heat with some a spoon or two of English mustard powder.
• Cook once, eat twice: freeze cooked beans that you haven’t used in your first meal.
• Save the viscous bean water (after the cooking step) to use as an egg white substitute (aquafaba). Boil gently to reduce water (thicken), then cool.
Before cooking any pulse (dry legume seeds), check for small stones and bad seeds.
And then wash.
Try leeks as an ingredient instead of onions.
The video shows how to prepare this delicious vegetable.
Capulet and Godiva can be cooked directly from dry beans in less than four hours total (skipping the pre-soaking step).
Use either a slow-cooker (set on high) or . . .
An oven (set at 120 degrees C), placing ingredients in a covered pot or casserole dish.
Note: Do not use a tin of chopped tomatoes when softening as it can slow this step down. Fresh whole cherry tomatoes are used instead because they won't break-down and release juice until after the beans have cooked and softened.