Red beans & brown speckled rice

Gluten Free Serves 4 - 6

Rather than using olive oil and ghee, you could add delicious flavour to this by cooking some bacon in the pot first, and using the fat rendered from that as the base for the onions and vegetables. Dried herbs are used give the flavour you’re after.

1 cup raw pinto beans, Sorted through for stones and soaked in 10 cups of water overnight 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon ghee 1 onion finely diced – if I have a red onion, I’ll use that for the extra sweetness 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon dried oregano ¼ teaspoon dried thyme pinch dried sage 2 fresh bay leaves 1 medium carrot cut into small dice 2 sticks celery, cut into small dice 2 cloves garlic, finely diced/ crushed fresh chilli as desired – finely sliced freshly ground black pepper to taste, but generally about ¼ - ½ teaspoon pinch asafoetida 3 – 4 cups vegetable stock 1 – 2 teaspoons wheat free tamari 1 – 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley – finely chopped

Add the oil and ghee to 24 cm pot (a Le Creuset French Oven is ideal). Add the onion, herbs and vegetables and sauté over a very gentle heat for 10 minutes avoiding frying the onion. Add the garlic, chilli and black pepper after 5 minutes. Stir every now and then.

Drain the beans and rinse well. Add to the pot with the asafoetida and stock. Partly cover and increase the heat to bring to a gentle simmer Cook for approx 1½ -2 hours, making sure they are covered with liquid throughout the length of the cooking time. After this time, remove the lid and increase the boil to reduce the beans to a thick, saucy consistency, stirring often. You might like to mash some of them to help thicken the sauce. Check for taste, adding tamari as needed or adjusting the pepper if necessary, and add the parsley.

Other traditional ingredients for this dish include red and green capsicums, spring onions (green and whites of it), parsley and ham bone or pieces, with bacon drippings used for the fat. Onions, spring onions, capsicums, garlic and spices would be sautéed in the bacon drippings.