Smoky and savory, this is a bowlful of comfort on a fall day!
½ pound dried Jacob’s Cattle beans, soaked
3 pieces (about 5 ounces) thick-cut bacon
1 small onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
4-5 small cloves garlic, minced
4 heaping teaspoons crumbled sage, divided
1 teaspoon sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
A splash of wine or vinegar, for deglazing
Olive oil, for garnish
1. Transfer beans and their soaking liquid to a medium saucepan. Add water to cover by at least 1 inch, if necessary, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, covered, until beans just begin to soften, about 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to a clean plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease. Deglaze pan with a splash of wine or vinegar and scrape up all of the browned bits. Add onions, celery, carrot, and garlic to the skillet. Crumble in 2 teaspoons of sage and sprinkle with salt. Sauté over low heat, very slowly, until vegetables are very soft and slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes.
3. Add vegetables and salt to the beans. Simmer, partially covered, until beans are tender and cooking liquid has thickened, about 1 hour 15 minutes. During the final 5 minutes of cooking, add the remaining sage and freshly ground black pepper: taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot, drizzled with olive oil and topped with crumbled bacon.