A hearty dish full of rustic flavour
- 350.0g piece bacon , with rind
- 400.0ml red wine
- 500.0g dried red kidney beans
- 4 large garlic cloves , peeled
- 1 onion , peeled and studded with 2 cloves
- large bouquet garni
- Generously cover the beans with cold water and leave to soak overnight, then drain.
- Heat the oven to 160C/Gas 3/fan oven 140C. Cut the bacon rind off in one piece and put it in the bottom of a medium-sized casserole. Add the beans, onion, bouquet garni, garlic and some pepper and bury the meat in the beans. Pour in enough water to cover the beans generously and add the lid. Bake until the beans are very soft and a few start to burst. This can take 1-3 hours, depending on the age and type of bean and the thickness of the pot, so check occasionally to see how they are doing. If the beans begin to dry, add more water. The liquid should have evaporated so that the beans are moist but not soupy. If the liquid is too thin, take the lid off for the last half hour’s cooking, or at the end of cooking, boil the pot on top of the stove to evaporate the liquid.
- When the beans are tender, stir in the wine and some salt and pepper. Cover and leave to cool for about an hour, so the beans absorb the wine. Remove the bacon and discard the onion and bouquet garni. Dice the bacon and stir it into the beans. The bacon rind can be discarded, or diced and added to the pot.
- Reheat the beans and, if too much liquid remains, boil to reduce it. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve.