Feb 27, 2008

Baked lima beans

It is a mystery to me as to how we came about this wonderful meat shop, but my family, and friends have been loyal customers of Ilowski Sausage Co., for years now. They have the best smoked bacon, and ribs, ever! For those of you in Michigan, if you are close enough visit them; you will definitely be back for more.

Growing up in Croatia, my family smoked meats every year, and we had awesome sausages, prosciuttio, ribs, and much more. I love smoked meats! We just had a big order @ Ilowski’s this w/e, and would you look at that bacon!

It's only in order, with such nice bacon, to share with you, one of my favorite dishes, and another favorite in the former countries of Yugoslavia, baked beans, better known as “prebranac” topped with sliced smoked bacon, definitely not for those who are trying to lose weight : )

Macedonians call it “gravce na tavce”, and it is traditionally prepared in clay pots, but I didn’t have one. Guess it’s time to update my shopping list because I have few more dishes that are just ment to be prepared in clay pots. Yeah, shopping! I do need some retail therapy; this winter has been nothing short of depressing with another blizzard yesterday afternoon…brrrr…

Basically, there is no true recipe; it’s one of those meals you just put together with key ingredients. You can exclude the bacon, or instead of bacon you can top it with some nice sausages. The flavor is just amazing, the garlic and bay leaf really are the key, and of course smell of baked smoked bacon doesn’t hurt : )

Baked beans (Prebranac or Gravce na Tavce)

1 lb large lima beans
2-3 medium onions, cut up
Approx. ¼ cup oil (to sauté the onions and carrots)
1 large carrot, cut up
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp paprika seasoning
Ground black pepper
1 Tbsp of flour

Boil beans for about 10-15 min., and then drain completely, and add fresh boiling water, bay leaf, salt to taste, and then cook beans for 2 – 2 ½ hours over low heat. By then it will be cooked, and most water will evaporate, check occasionally to make sure you don’t completely dry them out. Drain, but save the water, don’t discard.

Cooked lima beansBaked beans-Prebranac, making
In a separate pan, sauté onions and carrots, and when nice and caramelized add paprika seasoning, garlic, black pepper, and a tablespoon of flour, and mix it all into cooked beans. Carefully combine, and put in a baking dish of your choice. Pour the water you saved, over the beans, top with bacon or sausages, and bake. I bake it for about 20 minutes @ 425 F.


kellypea said...

Found you on Tastespotters...what a delicious looking dish. The bacon looks terrific like that. Nice touch.

We've been thinking of traveling to Croatia...it looks truly beautiful.

Anonymous said...

this would definitely entice me to eat lima beans more often. that slab of bacon is a thing of beauty!

my love of smoked meats knows no bounds.

Melita said...

Thank you both!

kellypea, you will love Croatia; has much to offer! Go in the summer!

chriesi said...

I am gonna make cook this tomorrow. Can I use another kind of beans?

Melita said...

I guess, chriesi... I haven't tried with other kinds of beans, traditionally it's made with limas.
Let me know if you try :)

Deborah said...

That is one impressive pan of baked beans!!

Unknown said...

I can see from your three latest posts that you're super-inspired by pigs -- love it! :)

Gizmo said...

Yes these beans are wonderful and can be made with Peruano beans or a handful of several types f beans. I sometimes mix the Greek Gigantes, Peruano, a stripped cranberry bean, and a couple of others. I use smoked paprika and I do add the browned flour and fat at the end. I usually add some good garlicky kielbasa or even Serbian ausags if we have made them and double smoked bacon. Theyare simply the best beans. I love the woven bacon topping on yours-must try this!

Melita said...

Mmhmmmm, I have made it with sausages too. I can't find anything close to Serbian sausages here. Polish kielbasa is sort of close...

Gizmo said...

One more comment about pigs! Spit roasting a pig is often done for a celebration like a son's birthday! Pork is a very popular meat in the former Yugoslavian countries.

When we were there we ate pork almost everyday. The air-dried Njeguški pršut is the best in the world in Montenegro I think. Do a search on Njeguški pršut photos andyou will go crazy. hey even make a lamb "".

Melita said...

Very true, we love pigs!:)
Njeguski prsut looks great!!!
Now that I have to pay for prsut I appreciate it even more. We used to make it,air dried and smoked, 8 every year, and everything else from pork meat. Ah, memories of good homemade food...