Mr Bean is still very popular in Poland. I initially learnt the Polish word for bean, fasola, because it is called Jaś Fasola or John Bean and there were a few jokes made since my name is John and I come from England....I guess it was one of those jokes which did not translate well!
Anyway I thought this dish was called 'beans in a British style' for ages because I mistranslated bretonsku and got really excited for some reason whenever it popped up. Breton beans are a more accurate translation and Bretons are a group associated more with France but do have a history intertwined with England (More information on Bretons). Furthermore baked beans are an integral part of British cuisine so I still have a right to get excited about this dish as a Polish version of what I had on toast, on jacket potatoes and part of fried breakfast for years.
The Polish version has meat (usually pork, sausage-kielbasa, or bacon-Boczek) which adds an extra dimension of flavour and so is also known as a cheap meat and bean stew ideally suited for students. It is quite easy to get bored of the English baked beans on toast so this is a more flexible (and healthier) alternative.
It is a good idea to make this in larger quantities, it can always be frozen.
What you need
- Large white beans (A large pot full or around a kilogram, dry)
- Pork/bacon (boczek is fattier and gives more taste but you can use leaner pork) 3/4kg
- Polish sausage (kielbasa) 1/2kg
- Large onion (1)
- Tomato ketchup (2tbsp)
- Tomato paste (1 tbsp)
- Flour (2 tbsp)
- Vegeta (basically just a seasoning of different spices/herbs/vegetables)
- Salt and pepper, paprika, oregano
What you do
- Soak the beans (dry sort) overnight in plenty of water.
- Throw away any beans that float on the surface
- Add generous amount of vegetta seasoning to the water and beans (keep same water that beans soaked in overnight). Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about hour and half (do not overcook)
- To make the sauce dice the onion and brown in a large pan with some oil, vegeta spices, salt and pepper.
- Dice pork and add to pan with some more spices/seasoning and paprika. Stir and cook on low heat for 5mins or so depending on size of meat.
- Dice kielbasa, add to pan and stir. Leave on low heat for about 1/2 hour to 3/4 hour. Add extra water to prevent meat burning.
- Check beans by trying. Most likely need longer than sauce in pan.
- Take pan off heat after 3/4 hour and stir in ketchup and tomato paste (ensure after taking pan off heat)
- Add mixture in pan to beans and water in pot and stir thoroughly.
- Season to taste, add oregano (perhaps 1/2 tbsp).
- Thicken by mixing flour and water in cup and then adding to pot
- Cover and heat for 5 mins after thorough stir
- Serve with fresh bread
But I found these in a local supermarket so it looks like Heinz have infiltrated the market with their over-sugared chemical version here also.