I have been craving bean soup ever since my friend, Bill LaFevre, posted that he was making split pea soup a couple weeks ago. I even thawed a ham steak thinking I would make bean with ham soup. But at the same time, I thawed the beef shanks I got with my last CSA delivery and figured I would find something to do with those as well.
Because ham keeps better than raw beef, I decided to braise the beef shanks first. I braised them in chianti and port with onions and garlic. It made my house smell heavenly and the result was quite yummy. But even better than that, the wine/port mixture I braised the meat in became this beautiful wine stock. As soon as I tasted it, I abandoned the idea of bean with ham soup and decided to use the beef and stock to make my bean soup. I was not disappointed! This will probably become one of my go-to fall soup recipes!
Braised Beef and Bean Soup
2 beef shanks** (about 3 lbs)
1/2 bottle chianti
1 cup tawny port
1 lg sweet onion
3 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp Magique herbs***
1 Tbsp Olive oil
3 cups fresh "dried" navy beans*
32 oz beef stock
Water as needed
Salt and pepper, to taste.
Combine chianti, port and herbs in a zipped bag. And beef shanks and turn to coat. Seal bag and marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear beef shanks on both sides, about 3 minutes.
Slice onion thin and place in crockpot with garlic. Place beef shanks on top. Pour marinade over beef and cook, on HIGH, for 1 hour. Once the liquid is boiling, reduce heat to LOW and braise 6-8 hours.
When meat has pulled away from the bones, remove shanks and vegetables to a plate. Allow to cool enough to handle and pull as much of the fat, plus bones, from the meat. Chop the rest.
Cool the remaining stock until fat sets. Remove the fat.
Assembling the soup
In a large Dutch oven, combine beef, wine stock, beef stock carrots, beef stock and beans. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook, covered, for about 2 hours, adding water ad needed, until beans are cooked. Adjust seasonings.
*farmers market ingredients
***fleur de sel aux herbes de provence