As the temperatures are cooling off, it is lovely to start planning one dish meals that can be set in the lower temperature oven for hours to simmer, or in the slow cooker for the day.
A couple of weeks ago I took a trip to a specialty grocery store, where I got a variety of dry beans for the winter months to cook with. I felt like I was a pioneer gathering food for the winter, kind of funny but true!
I had had this piece of beef in my freezer for a bit too long, so I decided to use it for this dish, even though I wouldn't normally, with a prime piece like that, use it in a slow cooked dish. But I promise you, at the end, it was so tender, it melted in the mouth.
I soaked a cup of black eyed beans and a cup of alubia beans overnight, so they would be ready to cook the next day. Alubia is a small white European-style bean, you can use them in all kinds of cooking from soups, baked beans, salads, bean dips, pot beans etc. You can substitute it with, for example, navy beans.
At the bottom of the dish, put the soaked beans and poured over hot vegetable stock, twice the volume of the rehydrated beans.
Sear the salt and pepper seasoned meat quickly on a very hot pan on all the sides and set it on the top of the beans in the dish.
Toss the washed chanterelle mushrooms and champion mushrooms on the hot pan fast after the meat and set them on the oven dish around the meat. Little springs of rosemary with the rest of the ingredients complete the dish nicely.
Set it in the oven on 125-150C/250F and let it cook until the beans are done and tender. For me, this was a little over 3 hours. Remember to check the liquid while it cooks in the oven, and add as/if needed.
The dish is lovely just as it is, or you can serve it with rutabaga and carrot purée or mashed potatoes if you want a milder taste for the side dish.
I have to say, this dish was a hit. The beans were so full of deep flavors, the meat melted in my mouth, and aromas from the dish that filled the kitchen were mouth watering.
I hope you will enjoy this dish and the change of seasons, taking advantage of the harvest time surrounding us.
Till next time
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