Terence Hill's Beans

By • December 29, 2009 • 23 Comments

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Author Notes: I love beans. And I love Terence Hill's blue-eyed cowboy movies. In My Name is Nobody, he eats a mess of beans, very sloppily, and with huge enjoyment. Later, Henry Fonda daintily picks at some. This is how I interpreted that mess. The mission? Depth of flavour. (Adding the vinegar and wine too early will slow down the beans' cooking time) - Marie ViljoenMarie Viljoen

Food52 Review: This recipe has everything we want with beans: pork fat from pancetta, and smoke and heat from dried poblanos (ancho chiles). Marie Viljoen uses a cool technique of adding vinegar and then a bunch of wine toward the end of cooking, which sharpens the dish with acid and keeps the wine flavor fresh, levitating atop the hearty beans and pork. - A&MThe Editors

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed lightly
  • 6 pancetta rashers, sliced into ribbons
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups red kidney beans
  • 3 cups chicken stock or water to cover
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 Poblano peppers, soaked, seeded and chopped roughly
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bunch flatleaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups dry but fruity red wine
  • salt and peppa
  1. Soak the beans in water overnight or bring to a boil and allow to rest in water until it is cold, discarding water in either event.
  2. In the olive oil, gently saute the scallions, the garlic, and add the pancetta, cooking over medium heat until the fat runs a little.
  3. Add the tomato paste and stir until it has lightly caramelized.
  4. Add the drained beans, with enough chicken stock or water to cover them.
  5. Add the sugar, the peppers and the herbs, stir, and cover.
  6. Cook gently until the beans are fork-piercable tender, adding additional stock or water from time to time.
  7. When barely tender add vinegar and red wine.
  8. Cook, with lid removed, until the wine has been absorbed.Taste!
  9. Add freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.
  10. Serve with crusty baguette and sweet butter. Not that Terence ever had either. Or the wine for that matter.
Jump to Comments (23)

Tags: comfort food, entertaining, movie food, Side Dishes, spicy

Comments (23) Questions (1)

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over 1 year ago Angel

Nice and hearty. My husband can't have anything with wine in it due to allergies, so I added 2 T grape jam. It was a nice addition to get the flavor I needed and not the migraine-inducing qualities for my love.

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over 1 year ago emmapeel

I simply adore Terrence hill!!!!!

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almost 2 years ago Sabine VOLLMER

Would like to add, that I had a crush on Terrance Hill. So it's most intriguing that you named the bean dish after him. I assume you were and are a fan of his. congratulations. The recipe is very tasty and just great. thank you.

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over 2 years ago bewler

At step 6 - approximately, how long do you cook the beans until fork tender?

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almost 5 years ago MelMM

I made these last night and they were fantastic! The wine was an unexpected touch, but really melded beautifully with the beans, chiles and pork.

One adaptation I made: At step 6, I cooked the beans for 15 minutes in a pressure cooker. Next time I'll reduce that a bit. Maybe 12 minutes. Did a quick release on the pressure, then added the wine and vinegar and then cooked uncovered for the rest of the recipe. This made the recipe quick enough that I was able to cook it on a weeknight after a long day at work.

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almost 5 years ago KitchenKim

Sounds just wonderful!

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almost 5 years ago Marie Viljoen

Hope you try it, KitchenKim! A dollop of sour cream at serving is great with it.

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almost 5 years ago Michelle McKenzie

the addition of wine is an unexpected but ingenious touch!

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almost 5 years ago Marie Viljoen

Wine makes everything better :-)

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almost 5 years ago mealhubby

Both dishes look fantastic. Going for pure beans here, T Hills beans gets my vote.

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almost 5 years ago Marie Viljoen

Thanks, mealhubby - you also need to wear boots while eating them...

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almost 5 years ago MarthaP

Amazing combination of ingredients - I can't wait to try it. But what is "rasher" of pancetta? Is that the same as a slice, and is all pancetta roughly the same size?

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almost 5 years ago Marie Viljoen

Hi MarthaP - that's my colonial roots coming out. Yes, a slice.

You can buy pancetta already sliced, or in one piece (rolled). If it's rolls, just slice yourself as needed. Alternatively, you can cut it into 'lardons', fat little cubes, which I've done before. Also delicious in salads with vinegar sloshed into the pan to make the dressing.

If you can't find pancetta, subs. bacon. Pancetta just has a slightly gamier taste, which I love.

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almost 5 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

This looks really interesting. I haven't cooked much with red kidney beans except in chili, but you've motivated me to try this. It's not exactly a New Year's Resolution for me, but I'm trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my everyday diet and cooking. Thanks for posting.

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almost 5 years ago Marie Viljoen

Dried poblano, yes - thanks you for catching it! Known as ancho. Amanda and Merrill 's notes describe it.

The red wine: I used a Chilean red from the Maipo Valley, made with Carmenere grapes, called Chono. Dark, plummy, a little spicy. I would call it a fairly substantial red :-)

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almost 5 years ago lastnightsdinner

I smiled so wide when I saw your recipe was a finalist - congrats!

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almost 5 years ago Marie Viljoen

Oh, Jen. It was your post that made me run for the beans!!!

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almost 5 years ago KLL5

When you saw soak the peppers- do you mean to use dried poblanos?

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almost 5 years ago Marie Viljoen

Yup - ancho

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almost 5 years ago dymnyno

I am making this as soon as I get home...love the recipe, especially the addition of red wine. Do you use a big red like Cabernet? a Merlot? maybe a Syrah?

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almost 5 years ago Marie Viljoen

Sorry - see my comment above :-)

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almost 5 years ago dymnyno

oops , sorry I missed your wine selection. I would probably choose a California wine...I make a great Cabernet Franc.(Chile makes some fantastic wines too)

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almost 5 years ago Marie Viljoen

No, I didn't reply in the right space to your question :-) You didnt miss anything.

I love Cabernet franc, and after looking at your profile, consider me Jealous. If I had another life, I would love to pursue a wine- making one.