For dinner last night, I wanted something warm and hearty. I left some cannelini beans soaking while at work, and had some leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge that I wanted to use up. I also had some pancetta and random vegetables (...and a few open bottles of wine...). So essentially, I was making a clean out the fridge meal. You'd never know that by looking at this dish though, right? I'd make this again and serve it at a dinner party!
It can be made vegetarian by eliminating the pancetta and subbing vegetable stock for the beef, but I love the extra bit of flavor a little pancetta adds. This can be served over egg noodles or as a stew with a big chunk of toasted, chewy bread.
I kind of added things as I went along, so some measurements are approximations. Luckily, this is the kind of dish you should taste as you go, and adjust your seasonings!
Cannellini Beans Bourguignon
1/8 lb. pancetta, minced
1 tbsp. EVOO
1 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, halved
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper
2 cups dried cannellini beans, soaked for 8-24 hours
1/4 cup Cognac or Brandy
2 cups dry red wine, like Pinot Noir
2 cups beef broth
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. fresh minced rosemary
Mashed Potatoes or Cooked Egg Noodles for serving
Heat a dutch oven over medium.
Add pancetta, stir with a large wooden spoon and cook for 5 minutes.
Scoop out and place on a paper towel to drain, also drain and excess fat from dutch oven (a little in there along with small bits of pancetta is ok)
Add EVOO, onions, garlic, carrots and mushrooms.
Saute' for 10-12 minutes, until vegetables are softened and slightly brown on the edges.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add cannellini beans, cognac and red wine.
Reduce liquid by half, add beef stock, tomato paste, thyme and rosemary.
Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low and cover.
Cook for 30 minutes, or until beans are tender.
Plate and sprinkle reserved crisp pancetta over top.