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Swabian thick sour bean stew - Schwäbische dicke saure Bohnen

Serving portion of thick bean stew with Vienna sausages and noodles
Serving portion of thick bean stew with Vienna sausages and noodles
Where I come from, we love to make a very rich, thick, creamy and a bit sour tasting kind of a bean stew from thick beans. I remember the smell from my childhood when the bean stew, served with Vienna sausages on noodles or potatoes filled the house. Writing this and thinking about it alone makes my mouth water again already, this is maybe because these swabian thick beans and the swabian sour lentil stew are among my father's favorite kind of food, so I grew up to love this simple yet delicious sour bean stew as well.
Where I come from, we have a broad varitey of those beans we are using in the stew, some we call pigbeans, some are called favabeans, they are called thick-, big-, horse-, fire-, rose-, and "what not" beans. I found so many names for them, I don't want to list them all. But I was very surprised when I found them on the market here and i had to buy them right away, thinking I will make this kind of thick beans in sauce for myself. Here comes the original recipe for 6 people:

Size comparison between dried broad beans and dried broad beans after soaking in water
Size comparison between dried broad beans and dried broad beans after soaking in water
  • 1 kg of dried beans
  • 2 diced onions
  • 3 table spoons of butter
  • 3 table spoons of wheat flour
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Vienna sausages, swabian smoked pork belly or some smoked pork chop "Kassler" style
  • 1/4 l red wine vinegar

Soak the dried bean in water for about 1 - 2 days. You can see some foam forming on top of the water it's about time to take the beans out. Then start to cook them in saltwater for about 1 - 6 hours. It really can take that long. If you have a pressure cooker, it's a good idea to use it and it will reduce your cooking time significantly. Just make sure the beans are always immersed in water. You can see that they are ready when they are nice and soft with the consistency of marzipan.
In the meantime fry of the diced onions in the butter in a high pot. Let them get golden brown and then add the flour to get a roux. Let both ingredients fry until they are clumped together and start to brown. With a whisker start whisking the roux and then  start to scoop one ladle full of cooking water from the beans to the roux and let it thicken in. Before the water is gone, add another ladle and whisk the water in. Ladle by ladle you can feel the roux getting more watery and in the end you have thickened the water from the beans with the roux and there should be no clumps because we always whisked it dilligently. This way we are having silky smooth and thick grave for the beans now. Add the bay leaves and a little bit of the vinager as well as the sausage. Let everything stew for another ten minutes. Then add the rest of the vinager and season with salt and pepper.
Serve this thick bean stew with swabian potato noodles (Spätzle), with potatoe wedges or with boiled potates. A true delight that is enjoyed in the autumn and winter time when it's getting cold in Germany, but not only delightful in winter only :).
Bean stew cooking with the Vienna sausage
Bean stew cooking with the Vienna sausage

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