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Author Notes: This recipe arose out of my efforts to use meat more as a flavoring than the centerpiece of a meal. It's a classic, hearty farmhouse combination that gets a boost of bright flavor from the parsley-rosemary pistou. I prefer it as a drier stew, but by adding more stock it also works well as a soup. The perfect dish after a long day out in the snow. —gluttonforlife
Lima Bean & Ham Stew
- 2 cups dried lima beans
- 1 smoked ham hock (or meaty ham end, roughly chopped, about 1 cup)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 shallots, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 black peppercorns
- 7 juniper berries
- 1 quart chicken stock
- salt to taste
- Soak lima beans overnight in cold water to cover. Or cover with boiling water and soak for 4 hours minimum.
- Drain beans and discard soaking liquid.
- In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat olive oil and sautee shallots and garlic until lightly browned. Add remaining ingredients and stir to coat.
- Pour in stock and bring briefly to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until beans are soft, about 1 hour. (Time may vary depending on your beans.) If you prefer your beans soupier, add more stock as it begins to be absorbed.
- If you used a ham hock, remove it from the pot and slip the meat off the bone. Discard the bone and fat, chop remaining meat into 1/2" pieces and return to the pot.
- Serve beans with a couple of spoonfuls of parsley-rosemary pistou swirled through. (recipe below)
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley, densely packed
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, de-stemmed
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Pulse the parsley, rosemary, pinenuts, garlic, salt, zest and oil in a blender or food processor. Leave it a little chunky.
- Stir in the cheese. Pistou should have the consistency of a loose pesto. Can be stored in the fridge for several days.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for Beans