Giant Baked Beans In Tomato Sauce (Gigantes Plaki) Recipe

‘Giant baked beans’ are a dish woven into the tapestry of Greek cuisine and have been around for as long as anyone can remember. Like so many Greek dishes, gigantes plaki stem from simple village food using ingredients grown an arms-length away from the kitchen. Slow cooked, these can be eaten warm or at room temperature and go with just about anything.

This recipe is extracted from Cypriana by Theo Michaels, published by Ryland Peters & Small

Try Theo's recipe for Cypriot Lamb Shanks in Sticky Sauce or Bulgar Meat & Vermicelli Noodles!

Ingredients for Giant Baked Beans In Tomato Sauce (Gigantes Plaki)

How to make Giant Baked Beans In Tomato Sauce (Gigantes Plaki)

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F) Gas 4.
  2. After soaking the beans overnight, drain and put them in a pan with fresh water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 2 hours until cooked without any crunch (I usually do this a day or two before).
  3. Heat a little olive oil in a pan, add the diced onion and carrot, and cook gently for about 10 minutes until nice and soft. Add the garlic and let it warm through for a minute before adding the smoked paprika, cumin, coriander and oregano. Stir through to ensure everything is coated and then add the wine. Simmer and reduce by two-thirds.
  4. Now add the cooked beans, passata, tomato purée, dried chilli flakes, sugar, half the parsley and some salt and pepper. Finally, top with the water to ensure the beans are fully covered.
  5. Bring it to a simmer and then pour into a casserole dish and cook in the preheated oven, loosely covered, for about 2 hours. Check periodically to ensure the beans haven’t dried out; it should be thick.
  6. Once it’s cooked, add the remaining parsley and the dill, and fold through the olive oil. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary, leave to cool to room temperature and enjoy with plenty of crusty bread for mopping up the unctuous sauce.
  7. TIP At a push, and if your life depended on it, you could use canned beans, you philistine you. The oven cooking time remains the same.
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