Coco Beans with Lardo di Colonnata

Septime, Paris, Bertrand Grébaut - November 2013

For 4 servings

Bread crumbs:

3 shallots, sliced 2 1/4 cups torn pieces fresh sourdough country bread, crust removed 2 Tbsps. unsalted butter

  1. Heat oven to 200ºF.

  2. Place shallots on baking sheet; bake, stirring occasionally, until dried out; remove from oven; crumble; reserve.

  3. Flash-freeze bread at 30°F until frozen solid (see Chef’s Note below); pulse bread in a processor until coarsely chopped.

  4. Heat 1 1/2 Tbsps. butter in a skillet set over medium-high heat; add bread; cook until crisp; place on paper towels to drain; reserve.

  5. Wipe out same skillet; heat remaining 1/2 Tbsp. butter in it; add shallots; cook, stirring occasionally, until brown; place on paper towels to drain; cool.

  6. Mix bread crumbs and shallots in airtight container; cover; reserve.

Beans:

1 lg. onion, sliced in half lengthwise 1 lb. Cocos de Paimpol (fresh white beans), shelled bones from 1 smoked eel or 1 cured ham hock 1 sm. bunch thyme or hyssop 1 bay leaf 5 to 6 black peppercorns salt

  1. Heat plancha or griddle to high.

  2. Cook onion cut-side down until brown; remove from heat; place in large saucepan; add beans, bones, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns; add water to cover; bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer 30 minutes; cook until beans are tender (45 to 60 minutes); remove from heat; season with salt; reserve.

Assembly:

  • 2 Tbsps. unsalted butter, plus more if needed
  • salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • 5 thick slices lardo di Colonnata, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 lg. bunch chives, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • marsh samphire
  • wood sorrel or purslane
  1. Drain reserved beans, reserve broth and beans separately; discard aromatics.

  2. Heat butter in a saucepan; add beans and 2 ladles of broth; bring to a boil; reduce heat to low; simmer until thickened, adding more butter as needed; season; stir in lardo, chives, and lemon juice; remove from heat.

  3. To serve, divide beans among bowls; garnish with samphire, wood sorrel or purslane, and crisped bread crumbs.

What to drink: Yannick Amirault St.-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil Les Malgagnes 2009
Chef’s Note: You want to freeze the sourdough as quickly as possible to avoid drying it out, however, if you can’t flash-freeze it, then thinly slice the loaf and freeze it.