Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bean Porridge (Gluten free)

Bean Porridge is amazingly universal. Recipes on the Internet come from all over the world including Nigeria, Korea and the Dutch Antilles. According to Brook Dojny, in her book New England Home Cooking, 350 recipes from Town and Country, Land and Sea, in early New Hampshire, bean porridge was cooked in huge kettles, which were then set outside to freeze. The settlers took the kettles into the New Hampshire wilderness where they cleared land all winter. They broke hunks of frozen porridge off the mass in the kettle and heated it up. Bean porridge seems to be an early frozen food.
Since most of us are not settlers in New Hampshire or anywhere else, I encourage you to think of this as soup. It makes an excellent soup, but frankly, trying to serve it for breakfast in my house would make for problems.
The most important ingredient is the meat broth. The recipe says it is traditional to use  broth left over from cooking corned beef. It is  more than traditional, it is essential.  So, if you want to make this, the day before, get yourself a hunk of corned beef and simmer it according to the directions. Have a wonderful corned beef dinner and save the broth for bean porridge.
One more thing. The directions tell you to mix the flour and cornmeal together and make a paste with cold water. Unless you want to have intractable yellow lumps in your porridge/soup, don't do it. If you have ever made polenta, or Italian cornmeal mush, you know that you should sprinkle very small amounts on the surface of the water. If you do that, the cornmeal will incorporate smoothly into the water. without lumps.

Bean Porridge

1/2 cup dried kidney beans
1 quart meat broth (from cooking corned beef is traditional)
1 tablespoon yellow corn meal
1 tablespoon flour (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free flour)
salt to taste
2 cups milk (I left this out.)

1. Day before, wash beans, cover with water and let soak overnight. Next morning, place beans and soaking water in saucepan and cook thirty minutes, or until beans start to become tender.
2. Drain off water. Add the broth to beans and cook until they are very tender. Mash slightly to thicken mixture.
3. Mix the corn meal and flour together and then make a paste with a little cold water. (Bad idea. Sprinkle it on the surface of the liquid instead.) Stir into the bean mixture and boil until mixture thickens. Season with salt.
4. Add the milk and reheat.
Serves six.

No comments:

Post a Comment