Baked White Beans is a delicious comfort food that you can make at home without much efforts. In this recipe, brought to us by our author Tania Doneva, you will find out how to bake them together with a Roast Pork Shank. The recipe can be prepared also in a vegan version, without the meat.
What kind of dish is this
White beans are a very common food in Bulgaria, being especially popular in the winter and around Christmas. A lot of local traditional meals are made with beans. Normally they pair with dried spearmint (джоджен): a local spice used often for soups and main courses, including Stuffed Grape Leaves or Stuffed Cabbage Leaves.
The current recipe represents one of the common ways of cooking beans in Bulgaria: baked in the oven. It is tasty, satisfying and full of delicious flavours.
What ingredients you need
For this recipe you need white beans: the best kind are canellini but if you don't have them, you can also use a smaller variety.
You also need vegetables: carrots, onions and leeks which will give a wonderful flavour to your beans. In addition you need oil, spices and tomato paste and tomato passata: all simple ingredients which create the magic of this dish!
The recipe calls also for pickled peppers. They contribute nicely for the winter taste of the baked beans.
Another important ingredient is the pork shank, which you can skip in case you want to make a vegan version of the recipe.
You can find the complete list of ingredients below the post, in the recipe card.
Preparing these beans is not complicated, even though it is a bit of time consuming. First you need to soak the beans overnight: an important step for a perfect result. Then you have to cook them and discard the water.
In the meantime you can roast the pork shank in an oven bag: this would take about 2 hours.
Cook the the onions and the leeks in a frying pan together with the oil, flour and the tomato products. Add the mixture to the beans and add also the pork shank and the pickled peppers. Then you need to bake everything for about 40 minutes. This would create the wonderful combination of tastes and would make the beans and the pork shank really tender.
This dish is perfect just as it is, without any garnishes. But it also goes very well with pickled or fresh vegetables and a nice rustic bread.
Surely you would love this recipe if you try it! Let us know in the comments what you think: we are always happy to receive your feedback!
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Baked White Beans with Roast Pork Shank
For the beans:
- 1 lb/ 500 g canellini beans
- 1 leek finely chopped
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 carrots diced
- 1/4 cup/ 60 ml vegetable oil
- 5-6 pickled spicy peppers
- 1 tbsp dried spearmint
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup/ 240 ml tomato passata see notes
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- salt and pepper to taste
For the pork shank (optional):
- 2-3 lbs/ 1 - 1,3 kg pork shank
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place the beans in a bowl and add cold water to cover them. Let them soak overnight.
- On the next day remove the water and wash the beans very well.
- Transfer the beans to a pot with water and put them on the stove, over medium heat. Add the diced carrots. Bring to boil and then cook until the beans are ready. Discard the water.
- While cooking the beans, you can also roast the pork shank. Season it with the spices and place it in an oven bag together with 1/4 cup water. Bake for about 2 hours at 350º F/ 180º C.
- Heat the oil in a non stick frying pan and cook the onions and leeks until soft. Add salt, paprika and flour and mix until the vegetables start browning slightly. Add the tomato paste, tomato passata and 1 cup lukewarm water. Season with dried spearmint, salt and pepper and stir again.
- Add the onions to the cooked beans, mix well and transfer to a baking pan. Place the roast pork shank in the middle and arrange the spicy peppers on top of the beans.
- Bake for about 40 minutes at 375º F /190º C.
- For a vegan version simply skip the pork shank and bake the beans with the fried onions and the spicy peppers.
- Instead of passata, you can use same quantity of grated fresh tomatoes without the peel.
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