17/03/2014

Lamb & Mint Chipolata, Black Beans & Colcannon

Happy St Patrick's Day!

More a meal that just came together than any forward planning ...

Lamb & Mint Chipolata, Black Beans & Colcannon

I've had it in mind to try home soaked beans for a while. After doing some reading, I settled on black beans, soaked 'em and boiled 'em. Intending them for later as refried beans with something Mexican on Friday, I settled them into the fridge ... but ... ended up using them as part of dinner this evening instead.

We were tired and wanted something quick, easy, tasty and slightly celebratory for St Patrick's Day and so, a pack of lamb and mint chipolatas came to the rescue as the core of the meal, these beans and some leftover wild garlic mashed potato with boiled savoy cabbage alongside.

Is it Irish? Not much, but I tipped my hat to them ... and my Guinness into the beans. I guess Lamb & Colcannon is a good enough nod and wink.

Lamb & Mint Chipolata

Into the oven at 180C for about half an hour.

Black Beans

Soak for 24 hours, changing the water once. One cup of beans to three cups of water. Once soaked and drained, boil for about an hour again in lots of water.

You can eat them at this point, or put them in the fridge for re-heating within a day or two.

I re-heated in pan along with a splash of Guinness (okay, half a pint), Worcestershire Sauce, some enoki mushrooms, a finely chopped chilli, half a finely chopped onion, black pepper and sea salt.

Cook on the hob for maybe 20 minutes to reduce the liquid and really soften the beans.

Colcannon

Simply combine mashed potato and boiled or steamed cabbage.

I had some leftover mashed potato and steamed some savoy cabbage to add to the party. Combine in a skillet with a little butter.

Serve

After about half an hour, we're good to serve ... beans down, sausages over, colcannon alongside.

n=1

Very tasty! Very tasty indeed and certainly a "do again".

I see beans, properly prepared, as useful in an ancestral diet, but a starvation food nevertheless. While meat, fish, shellfish, eggs and vegetables exist, why eat off the plate? Well, our ancestors did, so this in an ode to them.

Black beans are very nutritious and beneficial for digestive tract health, cardiovascular strength and blood sugar regulation. You can read all about them with a simple search on the internet, but perhaps qualify your search with the terms "paleo" and/or "resistant starch" alongside.

Soaked and boiled, perhaps chilled and re-heated, the health benefits do appear to dramatically outweigh any potential negative, and I say potential since the unhealthy phytochemicals are largely removed or neutered in the soaking and boiling.

Bloating? Gas? Wind? I'm happy to report none of the above.

So, I now have green lentils, Puy lentils and these black beans as potentially good sources of ancestral-friendly nutrition. The list is growing ...

Reading

whfoods.org: Black Beans
Free the Animal: Resistant Starch Dietary Guidelines

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