The bacon here is optional, just something about pork and beans that pairs so well. I actually didn’t cook this with the bacon as our house keeper eats with us and she doesn’t eat pork, so I added the bacon on the table to serve for anybody that wanted to add it, though if I made it over a week-end without Longien there, I’d do the bacon. This also works well with sliced up chunks of Jewell & Co Saucisson Sec cured sausage or his Spanish cured ham. If you don’t have any pork aversions – definitely make it with the bacon, it’s just as good without. I also added the thick clotted Friesian cream at the end but you could equally use a sour cream, cultured milk like amasi or kefir or coconut milk or cream. This recipe is easily made vegetarian by just leaving out the bacon and cream or vegan by leaving out the butter too and replacing that with coconut oil. If you’re making the vegetarian or vegan version – adding some toasted nuts at the end will be lovely.
Also – I used marsala as it’s my favorite spice mix at the moment but you can use any curry powder of choice here. Make sure to buy mixes that have no fillers or additives in – there is a great spice stand where you can buy fresh, pure spices already mixed for you, you just take what you want in weight – at the Rosebank rooftop market on Sundays. If you don’t have any good spice on hand and want to make this, this week, I’ll have a jar of the marsala at the back here, just tell Cassandra or Sam that you want some of my spice and they can take 4 TB’s out for you and you can try mine.
Remove the soaked beans from the water, and keep 500ml of the water they soaked in. The njugo beans need to be peeled , just put pressure on the outer casing until the skin pops off and you find the gorgeous beans inside.
Heat the olive oil and butter on low heat in a heavy bottomed casserole.
Add the onions and garlic and marsala or curry spice – stir it all up together and let this cook on a very gentle heat until the onions are soft and the kitchen smells like heaven.
Then throw in the brinjals or your veg of choice, bacon, the dried apricots and the chopped or tinned tomatoes.
Stir it all up and let that all combine and cook together for 10 minutes.
Add the beans to this mix and stir altogether with the 500ml saved soaking water.
Add the chicken stock.
Let it all come to the boil and once boiling, turn the heat down and let this simmer for an hour.
It should start all reducing to a thick luscious curry gravy but if it reduces too quickly, add a bit more water or stock to your tasting.
For the last 10 minutes of cooking time, add the cream, coconut milk or coconut cream. If you want to use amasi or yoghurt – rather serve that at the table to add on top, you don’t want to add fermented dairy at this point or it will split.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with fresh coriander and optional cured Jewell & Co charcuterie.
Definitely serve with sourdough organic heritage wheat bread.
And if you want to make this a Three Sisters Blessing – serve it on organic maize meel or any corn meel - and with roasted pumpkin or butternut – and receive the abundance blessing of strength 🙂
* I mixed the blue and red beans, pink sugar beans and njugo beans currently in-store (pre-soak all over night in enough water to cover)
** or as many as you have the energy to chop
*** (this is for sweetness, you can replace this with raisins or any dried fruit but organic dried apricots work well)
**** I used Jewell & Co as it has a signature smokiness and the best quality