Baked beans with lamb is one of the most popular Albanian dishes called fasule me mish, and Macedonian it’s called tavce gravce you can make it with beef or veal as well, I use what ever I have at the time. When I first wrote this post I didn’t have a slow cooker, now that I do, I use it on days that I am busy, and it turns out great. I love how soft the beans get, and meat just falls off the bone.
Make sure that you do NOT season the water with salt, the beans will not soften if you add salt to it, add salt in the last hour of cooking, whether you are using a slower cooker or baking them.
What you will need:
- 3 cups dry white beans like navy or canellini beans or Tetova fasule (my favourite)
- 1 lb pieces of lamb, veal or beef meat (less or more depending on what you like or have)
- 1 large onion
- 1 red pepper
- 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
- 1-2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp pepper paste (optional)*
- pinch of chili flakes (optional)
- 3 and 1/2 cups water or more
- 1 kitchen tablespoon of salt or less to be added near the end of cooking
Some beans require more water than others, I noticed that Tetova fasule soaks the water up a lot, and I need to add more as it’s cooking.
In a large bowl soak the beans over night drain and rinse with water, or bring beans to a boil and cook for at least 1 hour, then drain and rinse.
Chop onion and pepper, pan fry with oil in a hot pan add in the paprika, start with a tablespoon, you may add more to you liking as you go along sprinkle the seasoning salt over the meat, add in the pepper paste if you have it. Add in the meat and brown on both sides, but do not cook meat.
Add the beans to the slow cooker or pot, top with the meat /onion mixture, pour over the water stir with a wooden spoon. Cover with lid and put the slow cooker on I use the ‘II’ dial and it takes 7-8 hours of cooking time, beans should be soft and tender.
If you are baking this, you will have to cook it in a pot for at least 2 hours on low-medium heat, then transfer to a baking dish and bake for an hour or two at 350 degrees, check on it, when the beans are soft and tender they are done. Enjoy!
*The reason I use pepper paste, is for flavour and colour. Since tomatoes are acidic and do not allow the beans to soften I add that instead of tomato paste. I use the mild or sweet kind, that is when I run out of my homemade paste. It is optional, since you are adding the red bell pepper and using paprika it is fine not to use it. I don’t always use it. You can tell by the first picture it is more red, and the one below is more brown because I didn’t use it.