Wednesday, February 22, 2012

String Bean Stew

A tasty dish my family enjoys on a cold winter eve. Serve with a nice warm baguette and it is a meal. Sometimes I add leftover meatloaf or meatballs to make it a more substantial meal. The French beans (Haricots Verts) pictured here are the best.
·       2 lbs of fresh green beans (tips cut and strings removed)
·       1 lb of baby yukon gold potatoes (peeled and sliced)
·       2 shallots or one small onion thinly sliced
·       2 cups of vegetable stock
·       ½ cup of lardons (small pieces of slab bacon with much if the fat trimmed off)
·       2 cans of stewed tomatoes ( I use Del Monte, two of the Italian Style and one of the Original Recipe)
·       2 tablespoons Olive Oil

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and cook onion for 2-3 minutes or until onion is tender but not brown. Add the lardons and sauté for another 3 minutes. Add the beans and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the juice from the cans of stewed tomatoes. Use a food processor to mash up the tomatoes and add them to the stew.   Add the vegetable stock, bring to boil. Add the sliced potatoes. Simmer over low heat, stirring from time to time for 50 minutes or until beans and potatoes are cooked (add water if necessary).

Gerard’s Wine Suggestions

The mild acidity of the tomato and the smokiness of the bacon mixed with the fresh sensation of the green vegetable all meld into a savory cocktail of country side flavors. .  Avec ce plat bien campagnard ou la douceur acide de la tomate et le fumé du lard Without hesitaion I recomend  a simple red Cote du Rhône. Generally based on Grenache to which a bit of Mourvedre, Carignan ou Cinsault may be added, the Cotes du Rhône offer an aromatic palette and freshness that is unique - .and all for a price varying from  $10 et $12 a bottle at your local wine merchant. The best producers are: Chapoutier,  JL Colombo, and Guigal.   

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