Friday, June 20, 2014

Polish Stewed Beans and the Story of Handsome Johnny

Long time ago, in a land far far away called Polandia, lived a little girl who liked to eat beans. The girl's mom made her stewed beans often, using large white beans called "Piekny Jas" - translation from Polish: handsome Johnny.

Although this little girl did not know the name of these beans back then, she continued her adoration for this legume. Her love affair ended when she came to live in another land called USlandia.

The little girl, now an adult, has never forgotten about these white beans, and one day, while shopping at a Polish grocery store, she found them. She picked up a package of large white beans called "Piekny Jas" and she said to herself: "What the cat is Piekny Jas?" And then she knew....

Once again, the beans and the girl were reunited.

The end and cheers! 

Polish Stewed Beans
Polish Stewed Beans
*Requires approximately 1.5 hours cooking time. 

1 pound large white beans of choice, soaked in water and in the refrigerator overnight (I used Handsome Johnny large white beans)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 (10-oz package) white mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon onion powder
Freshly ground black pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt - optional (add last and use less or more depending on preference)
1 (12-oz can) tomato paste
3 to 4 cups strong vegetable broth

I like to store these suckers in a jar and in my refrigerator. 
The night prior to cooking this dish, place one pound of beans in a container and add enough room temperature water to cover all the beans. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

Let's cook!

In a large soup pot, sauté the onion, mushrooms and garlic in oil, over a medium heat, for about 10 minutes. Add onion and mushrooms first and garlic last. Otherwise there is a strong possibility the garlic will burn. Burnt garlic is not our friend.

Now add all the spices except for the salt and also add tomato paste. Continue cooking for another two minutes. My reasoning behind adding salt last is that tomato paste in itself is salty. Upon cooking the tomato paste further for an extensive amount of time such as is required for this recipe, it may taste even saltier. Lastly, add the drained beans and 3 cups of vegetable broth.

Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook for approximately 1.5 hours until the beans are soft but not mushy. The cooking time depends on the type of beans you use. Using smaller white beans may shorten the cooking time. Be sure to stir once in a while and add more vegetable broth if necessary.

Taste for salt and add if you so fancy. Store in a refrigerator for up to one week.

Peace out!
Cool beans!


  1. Dzisiaj po latach na emigracji odważyłam sie upichcić pięknego Jasia. Dziękuje za przepis- już wesoło sobie bulgocze na kuchence a ja w międzyczasie przeglądam inne Twoje przepisy... Wszystko wyglada i brzmi prosto i smacznie!! Mam nadzieje, ze dalej tworzysz kulinarnie bo wychodzi Ci super!! Pozdrawiam z Chicago (Olga)