Friday, September 10, 2010

Dried Lima Bean Casserole

Rinse and soak a package of dried lima beans (baby limas or full size, but baby limas are best) overnight in lots of cold water. Drain them well.

Sauté, until light brown, one large yellow onion with one or two cloves garlic, both chopped fine. Add one large can of chopped whole tomatoes, salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste, a heaping tablespoon of brown sugar, a teaspoon of Worcester sauce, a good sprinkling of thyme, a little marjoram, a bay leaf (or a little bay leaf powder), a pinch of powdered cloves, a handful of chopped flat parsley, and a splash of good cider vinegar.

Add this mixture to the lima beans in a heavy casserole dish and bake in a slow (200-250 degrees) oven, covered, for at least two hours, adding water (or cider) as needed to keep the beans bathed in fluid. Uncover the dish and top with a layer of pork chops (or shoulder lamb chops) which have been salted and peppered. Continue cooking, uncovered, until the chops achieve your desired degree of doneness -- an hour or more. It is also good to splash some of the sauce over the chops from time to time to add to their flavor. The more fat you leave on the chops, the more flavor they will add to the beans below.

Serve with hard cider or beer and a good, crusty bread. Enjoy!

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