Some recipe are borne of genius. Some, like this one, are borne of sheer laziness. What, you’ve never been enamored of Jacobs Cattle beans, their marble-like texture and splotches of brown and white, so taken with them you keep them cloistered away in a jar just to ogle them? Well, I have. And then I realized I was hoarding them so I poured a cup into my enamel pot and let them sit overnight in some water.
Then I forgot about them.
Then I remembered them but felt too lazy to cook them.
Then I forgot about them again.
Then I realized they would go to waste if I didn’t cook them soon so I did.
Then I forgot about them for a few hours.
So I cooked them again. And they turned out so well I recreated that dish a few times until it became a recipe.
Twice-Cooked Beans with Smoky Paprika Onions
Today, these are my lunch, on a bed of greens alongside Heidi Swanson’s simple and lovely corn salad.
1 cup Jacob’s Cattle beans (or other large bean)
2 cups vegetable stock
2 red onions
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch sea salt
1 tbsp paprika (smoked, bittersweet)
1/4 cup water
Soak the beans in 1 cup water overnight or however long until you forget about them. Add 1 cup of stock to pot and boil for 20 minutes, covered. Turn heat off and let cool completely (this is a good time to forget about them again). Cut onions in half and then into slices. Add last cup of stock to beans and boil for 30 minutes. Heat oil in skillet and drop in salt and paprika, cooking on med-low until paprika starts to smoke just a little and becomes fragrant. Drop onions into skillet and do not move them. Once onions begin to caramelize, turn gently to avoid breakage. Add1/4 cup water to onions when they are glazed and paprika is sticking or forming paste. Add beans and stir together until liquid is absorbed. Don’t forget to eat it.