A very popular dish in Poland is Fasolka po Bretonsku, which literally translates to "bean and meat stew from Britanny." The title is a little curious since I have heard others comment that this particular dish is not really standard fare in that region of northwestern France. Why it came to be known by this name is then a question I will leave with you. Perhaps you know, and might tell me. In the meantime enjoy the taste regardless of the obscure nature of its name.
Large white beans, 1/2 kg (a little over 1 lb)
Bacon 250 gm (a little over 1/2 lb)
Polish sausage (kielbasa), 1/2 kg
Large onion, 2
Tomato paste, one small can
Flour – add 2 tablespoons if you prefer a thick stock, otherwise don't add.
Vegeta, a seasoning spice that can be found in Polish stores. I recommend that you try to find this sort of spice for the authentic flavor but if it is not not readily available substitute a seasoning salt of your choice: salt and pepper, paprika, oregano, marjoram.
Soak the beans overnight in about two times the volume of water. The next day drain the water. Now place them in another pot of water with a similar volume of water. There are some who like to use the same water, but I like the idea of cleaning the beans along with softening them.
Boil the beans until they are soft. A little tip here that I recently tried and found very rewarding: I added the can of tomato paste at this stage to the beans, and found that the taste of the final dish improved considerably.
Add Vegeta seasoning liberally to the water and beans.
Dice and then glaze the onions in a pan with some oil and some salt.
Cut the bacon into small pieces and add to a pan. Fry the bacon.
Cut the sausage, add to the same pan after putting the bacon aside. Fry the sausage in the bacon fat. Polish sausages are normally spicy so there is no need to add extra spices at this stage.
Now add the onions, sausage, and bacon to the pot of beans. Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer for another 5-10 minutes at medium heat.
After a few minutes add a handful of marjoram. Remember to rub it together in your palms as you add it to the pot to break up the herb and release the taste. Add a half teaspoon of paprika. Finally add salt and pepper according to your taste.
In Poland we serve this dish with fresh bread. Bon appetit!Powered by Sidelines