What I'm cooking and eating

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Bean Casserole

I recently bought an Instant Pot, which is a gadget that combines the functions of a pressure cooker, sauté pan, slow cooker, yoghurt maker and rice cooker.  So, of course, I have been using it quite a lot - it is a great deal easier to use than my conventional pressure cooker, which will be retired from active service now.  I tended only to use it for the occasional pot of beans, and for cooking the oranges when making marmalade.  I rather think I shall use this electric one more often!  I have yet to try the yoghurt maker or the rice cooker, and doubt I shall (although I did have a yoghurt maker at one stage; I am not quite sure where it is). 

Anyway, this bean casserole is very versatile; you can use whatever vegetables you have around. Makes masses - enough for at least four people.

½ cup each (dry volume) red kidney beans, cannellini beans and those pink ones (or any other sort you like), soaked overnight in cold water to which you have added a little bicarbonate of soda.
1 tbs cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ chilli pepper, deseeded and chopped (it was going to be a whole one, but I dropped half of it into the bin and couldn't find it again!)
Neck of a butternut squash, cubed
1/2 punnet of mushrooms, sliced
1 tin chopped tomatoes
A little extra water,  if needed (it shouldn't be)
Seasoning as liked.

When you have soaked the beans, drain them and rinse them well, then place into the cooker with about 2 litres of cold water.  Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes, and allow the pressure to come down at room temperature, if possible.  Drain, and set aside.

Using the sauté function of the cooker, add the oil, then the various fresh vegetables.  Allow to cook, stirring frequently, just as you would if you were cooking them on a normal stove.  Then add the tomatoes and the beans and stir very well.  Add a scrap more water if you think it needs it, but don't forget the mushrooms and the courgettes will yield quite a lot.  Season as liked, and then, using the slow cooker function, cook on low for about 6 hours.  I put it on the timer so it sat for 2½ hours before it started to cook.  If you aren't going to be out all day, of course, you can cook it using the pressure cooker function, probably for about 10-15 minutes.

Serve with grated cheese.