Porotos Granados, a thick stew of beans, corn and winter squash is a traditional summer dish in Chile. The name means (I think) “choice beans” or maybe “bean stew.” I’m not entirely sure.
In any event, you might be wondering why such a hearty sounding stew would be traditionally a summer dish. Here is the reason: the stew is supposed to be made with fresh shelled beans, which show up in the market in the summertime when they are harvested. Also, the dish makes use of fresh corn, basil and sometimes tomato and bell peppers, which are also summery ingredients.
Of course, if you can’t get your hands on fresh cranberry beans in the farmer’s market, do not despair. You can use canned beans or dried beans. Not quite the same, I know, but delicious and well worth making nonetheless.
My starting point was a recipe in Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall’s River Cottage Veg: 200 Inspired Vegetable Recipes. Out of curiosity, I looked up other versions of this recipe, and I ended up adding a change here and there based on those other recipes.
Adapted from River Cottage Veg, plus other recipes online. I note where I added in ingredients not in the River Cottage version. Where the recipe calls for cooked beans, you can use 14.5 ounces canned beans or 3.5 ounces dried beans, soaked overnight. If you use dried beans, you will need to cook them for about an hour with the onions, garlic and vegetable stock before adding in the rest of the ingredients.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced (I used a large Vidalia onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 Tbl. sweet paprika (not in the River Cottage version)
A handful of oregano or marjoram, chopped (I used a tsp. dried oregano)
1/4 tsp. cumin seeds or ground cumin (not in the River Cottage version)
2 cups cooked beans, drained and well rinsed (I used cannellini beans, but cranberry, kidney, pinto, lima or butter beans can be used)
4 cups vegetable stock (I used 3 cups water)
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4″ cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into 3/4″ dice
7 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 3/4″ pieces
Kernels cut from 2 cobs of corn
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
Heat the oil in a medium Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute until translucent and softened.
Add the paprika, cumin and oregano and cook for another minute.
If you are using dried beans instead of cooked, this is the point at which you will need to add the beans and the stock and cook for about an hour, or until the beans are tender.
If you are using cooked beans instead of dried beans, things will go much more quickly: just add the beans, butternut squash, bay leaf and stock and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
Once the squash is soft, add the red bell pepper, green beans and corn. Simmer for another five minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste. Be generous with the salt and pepper.
River Cottage Veg advises that this tastes even better reheated the next day.
The River Cottage Veg recipe does not mention this, but you can add a little fresh basil to this dish (2-4 Tbl., julienned). Also, you can serve this with a fiery garnish called pebre (kind of like z’chug, with cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, onion, lemon and olive oil).
Also, this can be served with ensalada chileno, a salad of tomatoes, onion, cilantro and vinaigrette. For a more detailed recipe for this salad, go here.