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Turkish Braised Beans with Potatoes and Carrots
FAST: 1¾ hours
Slow: 7½ to 8½ hours 30 minutes
Turkish barbunya pilaki is a summertime dish of cranberry beans (also known as borlotti or Roman beans) simmered simply in olive oil with a few aromatics and vegetables. Fresh beans are preferred, but they’re highly seasonal and not widely available in the U.S., so we use dried cranberry beans and we cook them in an Instant Pot using either the pressure cooker or slow cooker function. Barbunya pilaki typically is served at room temperature, or even chilled, as part of a meze spread. We think the beans also are delicious warm as a light vegetarian main with bread alongside or as an accompaniment to roasts and kebabs.
pound dried cranberry beans (see headnote), picked over and rinsed
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
01In a large bowl, stir together the beans, 2 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt. Cover and let soak at room temperature for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse the beans; set aside. On a 6-quart Instant Pot, select More/High Sauté. Add the oil and onion, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, Aleppo pepper and tomato paste; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the beans, potatoes, carrots, 4½ cups water and ½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper, then distribute in an even layer.
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This recipe is fantastic! I adapted it slightly for a traditional slow cooker: at the end of step 1 I put the beans, potatoes and carrots in the slow cooker, and brought the rest of ingredients to a simmer in a pot on the stove. That was poured into the slow cooker and mixed well, then I cooked the entire mixture for about four hours on 'low'. At that point the beans had just started to break apart, so I lowered the heat to 'warm' and kept it going for another two hours, stirring occasionally until some of the bean starch had thickened the liquid.