Oh this Bean stew is good ,. But.....

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by alexb, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. alexb

    alexb

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    I made this delicious bean stew full of vegetables , zucchini, celery, carrot, Lambs quarters, onions garlic, and tomato. I added a little red wine olive oil, Basil and so on. 

    The beans were soaked overnight 12 hours or so. I changed the water at least once. I couldn't cook it the following night, so I vacuum seal them in  a plastic bag then two other bags . and put them in the crisper in the bottom of the refrigerator.two days latter I was ready to cook them. they looked and smelled fine and still moist from the soak 

    I sautéed the onion and much of the vegetables partially in olive oil. Then added the beans and cook for nearly 1 3/4 hours on a simmer . I used three kinds of beans white northern, black, and kidney. I added the salt at the end because I heard this helps in avoiding the dreaded difficulties in digesting them

    It came out tasting very good but I noticed that some of the beans were not quite soft . They were a little al dente. I didn't want to cook it even longer to spoil the flavors of the other ingredient. Unfortunately I experienced what goes along with sometimes cooking beans some disturbance in my stomach . 

    The next night I decided to cook the beans just the portion I wanted to eat that night for an extra 20 min, but some of the beans did not seem to want to get softer. 

    What is your advice I have a great deal of it and would love to eat it all, through the week. Do I have to take something like Bino, ? or is there another idea that some of you may have.

    I hear the body adapts and becomes better at digesting beans but I still don't quite understand the reason the beans are not getting  softer this time. Other times I have made beans, there was no problem . Maybe I am really not cooking them long enough at a slow simmer .

    Thank's in advance . 
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    How old were your beans? 

    Age of the beans is usually what makes them difficult to fully cook.  Altitude can do it too. A pressure cooker is a handy way of cooking beans for such conditions of old beans or high altitude. 

    When you add the salt doesn't affect "digestive" issues. It's more about keeping the beans intact but having a blander center for the late addition of salt. Early salting tends to cause some bean breakage. 

    The digestive issue is about indigestible starches. Unless you eat enough legumes all the time, your gut doesn't host bacteria that can break them down without offense. Instead, your regular bacteria set to the task with the infamous result. Cultures that eat beans frequently support gut bacteria that are better at this task. 

    There are enzyme products on the market that will break down these starches in your gut. Beano is probably the best known. It works. 
     
  3. kingnothing

    kingnothing

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    Alex, I have had the same problem before to and have found a solution for this. I will soak my beans overnight. I will then use the same soaking water and boil the beans for about an hour or desired tenderness is reached. After that I will then add them to my soup or stew and then simmer them again. I find this cooking, at a gentle simmer, doesn't really soften them any more. I now use this procedure for my baked beans and many stews requiring beans.
     
  4. alexb

    alexb

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    Hi , 

    I do not know the age of the beans but they came from a health food store, in my neighborhood in New York. They didn't look old to me looked pretty good, but dried of course.

    What is the best way to use Beano ?

    Could I try cooking the beans for a longer period of time , at higher flame ? 

     thank you for your advice, so far.
     
  5. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    +1.

    During that boil it is important to control the salt and acid content.  Both tend to "toughen" the bean.  Soft boil is all that is required and the timing is the trick - based mostly on the bean's age (which most of us rarely know) and the size of the bean.  The other trick is balancing the salt.  Add too late and the bean is underseasoned; add too soon and the bean is tough.
     
  6. kingnothing

    kingnothing

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    Agree 100% Brian. I do not add salt for the boiling beans when trying to soften. I will only add salt to the soup, stew or baked beans.
     
  7. panini

    panini

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    @AlexB,

    If you are in NY you should be able to get some Epazote. They sell it as an herb but its basically a weed. You can make a tea like mix and use it in your soak or we just add it to the beans when cooking. It helps in reducing the gas effect and really works./img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif Probably won't help this batch but maybe the next.
     
  8. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I like to boil the beans for about 15 min until they start to soften a little before I put them in a stew. Sometimes I cook them fully before adding them depending on the dish.

    Did you notice which beans were undercooked? Not all types of beans cook at the same rate. Were the navy beans all tough and the black beans all soft? Or were there some black beans cooked while other black beans undercooked?

    Phatch said it best, your body adapts over time.
     
  9. alexb

    alexb

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    Both these answers are very interesting. The boiling process and the Epazote .

    I knew I should've asked, before I went ahead and cooked. Because I had questions in mind but decided I could figure most of the solutions out. I had quite a few's questions about the process of cooking Bean with veg and herbs . As to getting maximum taste Health and pleasure benefit. But I did not expect to have this problem, (physically) speaking. King nothing's cooking procedure might taste better too, because the other ingredients could be cooked for less time . What do some of you think?

    Question: what is Epazote's flavor like? And would it take the place of pre-boiling? Or is it just an added precaution? 

    I am also interested in better cooking fundamentals for this recipes people would like to share.

    Thank you all                                 

    Alex 

                                              p.s. Panini ,  58'or59 studebaker. I like the 1950 Stu . 
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
  10. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Epazote is a mexican herb. I've not personally found it beneficial digestively speaking and find it's flavor offputting. 
     
  11. alexb

    alexb

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    Oh, one other question. Have any of you, had success freezing a bean stew, and for how long please ? 

    Alex 
     
  12. panini

    panini

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    @AlexB,

    You can certainly freeze your stew. Thaw it in the fridge and make sure you bring it up to temperature (simmer) at least when reheating to eliminate any bacteria. Don't leave cooked beans out. Keep them cold. 59 rambler/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif

    @phatch,

    I understand your feelings about epazote but I must disagree. Maybe you haven't used fresh enough. The plant has to be at least 2 ft tall and has not gone to seed. The larger leaves have a citrusy smell and flavor. It's a staple down here for beans and even eggs. If the cuttings are old or the plant has gone to seed it does have an offputting smell and flavor. Almost like rubber-petroleum-gasoline. If you find the whole plants please pick some up and give it another shot. course it's like cilantro, I love it but others in my family can't even smell it. BTW my wife will attest to the degassing effect/img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
  13. alexb

    alexb

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    Thank you for the helpful info . Just had some tonight I think it ages well for a few days in the fridge. It seems to go well with almost anything. froze the rest .I went to your profile   I like the Jensen Healey, do you find the electrics temperamental? I had an Image of the Rambler  in my mind, I know what the front looks like, but forgot it was a Rambler and not a Studebaker, for some reason. This was a difficult time for these companies (Packard). Rambler somehow hung on for a bit longer.  
     
  14. panini

    panini

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    @AlexB

    This is something I posted the  Chefs Rides thread.

    Lagom.

    The little red car is a Jensen Healey. English, hand tooled, 903 aluminum Lotus engine. Blast to drive but Lucas electrical.

    You could be doing 90, hit the blinker and the horn may go off and the lights flash.LOL

    Temperamental is an understatement LOL I've had a couple over the years an ended up creating my own harnesses.