The traditional preparation of this dish is an all day process (starting the night before). It is traditionally done like this: Dry beans are soaked overnight, and the next day they are simmered for hours till done. While the beans are simmering, the sauce is made from scratch. As the beans finish, the sauce, beans, vegetables & spices are combined and put in a covered baking dish in the oven, to cook for about three hours. During the cooking time, the dish is occasionally stirred and checked for moisture content and monitored till it is perfectly done.
This prepared dish can be purchased at the olive bar at our local grocery store for $7.99/pound. Prepared at home, you'll get A LOT of pounds for $7.99!
Greek Giant Beans ( Gigantes )
Combine in Crock Pot or Slow Cooker
5 15oz cans Butter Beans, Drained
1 12oz bag frozen Mirepoix mix, rinsed under warm water to thaw *
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 to 4 cups Yachni Sauce (till it looks like the picture below)
Cook on high for 3 to 6 hours or low for 6 to 10 hours (this is a VERY forgiving recipe, as far as time goes!)
If it is too dry when you take it out, drizzle a little boiling water over the beans to add enough moisture - it soaks right in!
This is not a particularly good candidate for stove top cooking, as the low moisture content and long cooking time make it high maintenance.
But, it can be baked in a covered casserole for 1 1/2 hours or so, checking periodically for moisture content.
This one (like many of the others) freezes well, so is a great make-ahead or bulk cooking dish.
*If you prefer, use about 3/4 cup sliced carrots & 3/4 cup sliced celery.