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Fireplace Beans (Beans al Fiasco)

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Makes 4 side servings 1x

Units Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (about 185 g) dried beans, soaked overnight
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 (5-inch/12 cm) sprig rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) good olive oil

Instructions

  1. Combine the beans, garlic, rosemary, bay leaf, pepper, salt, olive oil, and 2 1/2 cups (600 ml) water in a (1-quart/960 ml) Mason jar. Place the lid loosely on top—steam needs to be able to escape during the cooking process. Set in the hearth of the fireplace 8 to10 inches (20 to 25 cm) from the active fire. Feel with your hands that this distance is hot but not unbearably so. Rotate the jar every 15 minutes for the first hour to ensure even cooking. You will see the beans begin to simmer. After 2 hours check the beans to see if all the liquid has been absorbed. Taste them to see if the beans are fully cooked. Add more water if necessary to complete the cooking. When the beans are tender, they can be served immediately or allowed to simmer ever so slowly in the fireplace as the fire dies down. Long, slow cooking produces a caramelization of the bean against the jar walls that is delicious and a texture that is more like a rough purée than brothy beans.

— Recipe courtesy Peter Hoffman