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Midweek Meal: Have you tried this traditional Macedonian white bean stew?

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Using ingredients we’re likely to already have in our kitchens, this traditional meal of tavche gravche is sure to be a dish you’ll be whipping up soon.

Many of us are desperate to get our travelling boots back on as the world gradually begins to open up again, but while we wait, have you thought about travelling abroad through food?

Tavche gravche is a traditional white bean stew from North Macedonia and a new cookbook, From Macedonia – Recipes and Stories from the Balkans by Katerina Nitsou, recently published by Kitchen Press, has so many recipes like it that will transport you through the former Yugoslavian country.

It’s also a recipe that works well using local Scottish produce and can be made at any time of the year.

For more inspiration, take a look at our previous Midweek Meals here.


Tavche Gravche (traditional Macedonian white bean stew)

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 370g dried cannellini beans, soaked for at least 6 hours in plenty of water
  • 15g unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 litre boiling water
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley

Method

  1. Drain and rinse the beans and place them in a medium stockpot with 2 litres of fresh water.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until tender. Drain and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 170C Fan/190C/375F/Gas Mark 5.
  4. In a Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, red pepper and paprika. Sauté until the vegetables are tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to coat the vegetables. Sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
  6. Pour in the boiling water, salt and beans. Gently stir and bring to a simmer.
  7. Cover with a lid or foil and braise in the oven for 1 hour.
  8. Sprinkle with mint and parsley and bake, uncovered, for another 30 minutes.
  9. Serve hot or at room temperature.

From Macedonia – Recipes and Stories from the Balkans by Katerina Nitsou with photography throughout by her husband Oliver Fitzgerald. Published in hardback by Kitchen Press, priced £20.


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