Bean stew a la Bretagne


Bean stew a la bretagne is a very rustic, homely and filling dish. What is it? it’s basically stewed beans with different kinds of meat, in a fragrant tomato sauce. It takes a long time to cook, but preparation takes hardly any effort, that’s why I like it. Just throw everything together, let it cook for a couple of hours and it’s done. How good does that sound? Maximum pleasure for minimum work 😉

This essentially is a polish dish, my grandma and my parents have always been cooking it ever since I can remember.. I’m not sure why is it called ”a la bretagne” it probably has nothing to do with France and french people have never heard of it ( or would be terribly offended :P) but it certainly is delicious. So, let’s get to it.

What you will need is:

400g of dried white beans , soaked in cold water over night, then drained.

2 onions

3 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp of dried marjoram

200g of smoked bacon

300g -400gof some sort of good quality smoked sausage (a polish one would be ideal)

Any other sausage you’d like to add to it to fill it up

2 tbsp of smoked paprika

2 tbsp of tomato puree

1 bay leaf

3 all spice peppercorns


1-1,5 l of stock

So, what you’ll need to do is soak your beans in cold water overnight to rehydrate them. This is a very important step so you must not skip it. Once they’ve been soaking slowly drain them, pop them into a big stew pot along with your stock, bay leaf, allspice, garlic cloves(you can chop them if you want to) and your smoked sausage. All of those aromatics will penetrate the beans and flavour the stock, which eventually will become the sauce. Cook it until the beans are soft. It might take up to 2-2,5 hours, but you don’t need to attend to it every 5 min. just check it every now and then for the amount of liquid and stir a bit. Once the beans are almost soft, take out the sausage, cut it up, fry it with onions,bacon and whatever other meat you’d like to add to it, until it’s golden brown. Throw it into the beans. Add the tomato puree and loads of dried marjoram. Taste for salt,pepper (it could need a bit of sugar just to balance out the sharpness of tomato puree). Cook it in a bit, so the sauce thickens up. Once the beans are fully soft, it’s done. Harty, hot and full of flavour. My tip is to make it 1 day ahead then serve it when all the flavours have married together. 😉 Make sure you serve it with plenty of the tomato sauce :] good luck and enjoy!




3 responses »

  1. The name for this dish in Polish is fasolka po bretonsku. Your variety is so different from mine! I’m originally from Poland, and in Poland the preparation seems to be different. I make a masa (roux) using butter and flour, then I add a can of tomato paste and a good amount of water (along with the usual spices). This makes a sauce, to which you then add your beans and ham. I’ve never heard of this less saucy version but the pictures look delicious! This savory version is probably better for the American palate, since my American partner thought fasolka po bretonsku was very bland.

    • Thank you for your comment,you are completely correct,this is my fasolka po bretonsku:) i am polish myself and have come accross many versions of this dish.this is how my dad makes it and i am so used to it,its tastes of my childhood to me:) there is plenty of sauce in it,ive just presented it less saucy,so one can see exactly whats in it.i love sauce so ive added more after taking the photos,just to dunk my bread in it:) if you have any ideas on how to improve then i am always open to suggestions:)pozdrawiam serdecznie

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