Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas Beans: Cranberry Beans with Italian Sausage and Kale

I call this "Christmas Beans" because the colors just looked so festive for and evening of tree decorating. We ate it as a main dish, over rice, but it would be equally as yummy with some extra chicken stock, as a hearty stew/soup.


1 pound dried cranberry beans, cooked (can substitute canned beans of any type you like, but add them nearer the end so they don't turn to mush)
1 package hot Italian sausage (about five sausages), casings removed
1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
1 large onion, diced
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
2-3 cups chicken stock
1 bottle beer, preferrably dark
2 tablespoons marjoram or oregano (or Italian seasoning)
About 1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
Cooked brown rice (or white if you prefer)

Saute the sausages in a LARGE skillet in a bit of olive oil with the onions, breaking them up as you go. When most of the pink is gone, add about a cup of the chicken stock and let simmer until sausage is completely brown. Add the tomatoes and the cranberry beans, along with the spices, and let simmer for a few minutes. Add more chicken stock if it's getting dry. Add the beer and raise the heat a bit to near-boiling for about 10 minutes.

Place the chopped kale on top of the beans and sausage and pour about a cup of chicken stock over it. Place a lid on the skillet and let the kale steam and wilt down. After a few minutes, stir to incorporate the kale.

Serve over rice with the parmesan on top, with crusty garlic bread on the side.

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