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French Country Beans Recipe

These beans are even better the next day; the recipe reheats well! An ideal make-ahead dish, served along with good bread and red wine. If you have a slow-cooker hanging around, this recipe is a good excuse to haul it out!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 20 mins
Cooking Temperature 170 C / 325 F / Gas Mark 3
Course Make-Ahead, Vegetables

Instructions
 

  • Start oven heating to 170 C / 325 F / Gas Mark 3
  • Peel onion and stick the two cloves into it.
  • Chop the bacon and arrange in bottom of a casserole dish. Add beans, onion, garlic, spices, and pepper. Cover the beans with water and cover. Bake until beans are soft and a few have burst (usually up to 3 hours.) Add more water if they start to go dry; if too much liquid is left remove lid during last hour or so of cooking. You want just enough liquid left so that it looks like a very thick sauce.
  • Stir in the wine, and some salt and pepper. Let the beans rest covered outside the oven for about an hour to absorb the wine taste.
  • Discard the onion. Stir the beans so that the chopped bacon is now throughout it. Reheat the beans in a somewhat hotter oven (this will take about 45 minutes.) Remove the cover if the sauce is staying too thin. Adjust seasoning, serve hot.

Notes

Use what you wish for spices / herbs: parsley, oregano, bay leaves, celery sticks, thyme, marjoram, summer savoury, etc. Use about a tablespoon in total of all herbs / spices.
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