The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Fasolka po Bretonsku or Breton Beans

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Level: Easy

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Description

Not actually a Polish dish, but loved by Poles the world over. Inexpensive, healthy, easy to make. Beans, kielbasa, bacon fat, onion and seasoning, what’s not to love?

Ingredients

  • 1 bag 16 Oz. Dry Beans, Soaked Overnight
  • 1 whole Sweet Onion, Diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Bacon Fat (we Call It Smalec)
  • ¼ pounds Bacon, Cut Into Strips
  • ¼ pounds Ham, Diced Or Julienned
  • 1 whole Ring Of Kielbasa, Precooked, Diced
  • 1 piece Marjoram, To Taste
  • 1 teaspoon Vegeta, Optional
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Pepper To Taste
  • 1 can Tomato Paste

Preparation

Inspect and clean the beans. I place mine in a tightly sealed plastic container with water and shake it vigorously to clean and then just pop the corner slightly to drain out the water. I do this twice.

Place beans in a soup pot and add 3 times more water than beans. Heat until it comes to a boil then remove from heat, cover and let stand overnight.

When ready to start, replace the bean water with fresh water until a few inches above beans. Then, boil and cook until soft (2-4 hours). Replacing the cooking water at this step helps with digestive and gas issues some people have when eating beans.

While cooking the beans, in a frying pan, caramelize the onion in the smalec (bacon fat) along with the bacon on medium low heat. Cook until onions are caramelized and softened.

Add the onions and bacon to the beans, along with the ham, diced kielbasa, marjoram, Vegeta, and pepper. Cook for a few minutes to blend the flavors.

Add the tomato paste and stir, which will thicken the soup. Allow to cook for another few minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Serve with a good bread and butter.

Smacznego!

Notes:

Typically, baby or giant Lima Beans are used, although cannelli, navy or other beans are often used in the non-Polish versions.

Also, this recipe is actually normally made with Smoked Kielbasa in the Polish versions. However, my husband didn’t realize this, so he didn’t get that for me at the grocery store. Either way, it is absolutely delicious! Even my father, who grew up with this in Poland, said that it smelled and tasted exactly like my Babcia’s homemade Fasolka po Bretonsku, which I know no higher compliment.

You might also be wondering, “Will my kids eat this?” My five year old and one year old inhale this. Yes, your kids will eat this. You might have to convince picky eaters to give it one bite to at least try, but once they do, they will love it.

Click related blog post for more photos and information.

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