I found a package of dried white beans in the supermarket that were interesting. Small and roundish, they come from Pamiers in the Midi-Pyrenees region of France. Maybe navy bean like? I decided to cook them with “Loosiana” style seasoning and some French smoked pork that resembles a vaguely salted, mildly spiced Cajun tasso.
The butcher told me that this pork is usually eaten thinly sliced like a snack. Perhaps like Bayonne? He was skeptical as to its value as a bean flavoring.
I thought it was good, giving the beans a smoky flavor, although I thought the butcher should have done a wet salt cure for at least a week before smoking.
Coco de Pamiers
1lb dried coco or navy beans, soaked overnight
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
4 celery branches, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1 large smoked ham hock, cut into cubes
2 bay leaves
5 dried thyme sprigs
1 tbsp oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Put everything into a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.