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Hagarita -  the love of cooking and sharing food

Beef and Beans

Last week I was requested to make a Cholent at work, a Cholent (if you are not familiar with the term) is a slowly cooked mixture of beans, potatoes, meat, barley and sometimes whole eggs. The beans need to be soaked in water for a few hours prior to cooking, and so the first thing I did that morning, was to soak 1lb of mixed beans. 6 hours later, just as I was about to start cooking the Cholent, a man walked into the kitchen, carrying two large aluminum pans with, guess what?, Cholent.Now I have a pound of soaked beans, and clearly no need for Cholent...

I called South Africa immediately and I asked my second dad for his famous bean soup recipe, growing up I remember this soup as a special treat, it's perfect for cold weather, to eat while snuggling next to the fire watching the winter out of the window. Funny how subjective life is, today I know that those cold winters back home, weren't really cold, and that 40 degrees is a nice day if you are wintering in NYC...

Back to the soup now: 500 gr of pre soaked beans (preferably over night) 250 gr of beef or lamb meat, cubed 120 gr of tomato paste 350 gr fresh peeled tomatoes, cubed 15 garlic cloves, sliced 2 tbsp sweet paprika 1 tsp hot paprika 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp tumric 8 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp salt 1.5 liter water

If you have a pressure cooker now will be the time to pull it out and use it, I don't have one, which is why this soup was cooking for about a week (at least that's what it felt like, in real life it was about 8 hours).

Heat the oil in the pot you are intending on using for the soup, add the meat and sear it, add all ingredients BUT the beans along with 2 cups of water and stir well. Add beans and remaining of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, if using a pressure cooker you will have your soup ready in an hour. if not... oh well, good things are worth waiting for.

Served best with fresh bread.