Last weekend, I visited the most beautiful Ohrid, Macedonia and I’m still having serious post holiday blues!
Do you blame me? Look at those damn views! 😍
Ludz and I try to travel as often as possible and love to stray from the typical tourist places. A post about my veganing around Macedonia and Albania is coming soon so keep ’em peeled! 👀 Follow me on Insta for a sneaky little peeky.
I noticed Macedonian baked beans – Tavče Gravče – on the menu of the first restaurant we visited in Ohrid. I don’t care what anyone says, you cannot knock baked beans. I was sad to learn that their recipe contained bacon. Annoyingly, it was only on my return that I discovered that the dish is usually vegan and that this particular restaurant was just being a bit fancy by adding 🐷.
Anyway, since I missed out on the beany experience (and eager to evoke Macedonian memories while back in London) I decided to give the recipe a bash and create a quick simple take on the traditional classic.
Normally, the recipe is made with white beans, soaked overnight in boiling water but I’ve used canned cannellini lads for quickness.
If you do have time to prep the beans properly, definitely do so. I’ve no doubt it tastes better. Macedonians, please don’t be mad at me. 🙊
You will need:
2 x 400g Cans Cannellini Beans, Drained and rinsed
1 x Red Onion, Chopped
1 x White Onion, Chopped
4 x Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 x Yellow Pepper, Chopped
1 x Red Pepper, Chopped
1 x Green Chilli, Finely Chopped
1 x Dried Pepper (optional, they’re hard to find and pricey so omit if needed)
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 tsp Chilli Powder
100ml Sunflower Oil
2 x Bay Leaves
Small Handful Mint
Salt & Pepper
How to make:
- Preheat your oven to 200C/400F.
- Add 50ml of oil to a medium pan.
- Add to the pan: 1/2 the garlic, 1/2 the paprika, 1/2 the chilli powder and 1/4 of the chopped peppers and cook for a few minutes.
- Add in the beans and dried pepper (if using). Cover with water. Season and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes.
- While your beans are cookin’. In a second pan, add 50ml of oil, the onions and remaining garlic, peppers, chilli powder, and paprika. Cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes.
- Once your beans are cooked. Drain, retaining the liquid.
- Add the contents of the second pan (onion, pepper and spice mix) to a baking dish (earthenware is recommended for a better taste) then add the beans on top.
- Pour over the retained bean liquid.
- Tear up your coriander and mint and sprinkle on top. Add bay leaves and season well.
- Cover and whack him in the oven for two hours.
- Pick the bay leaves out before serving cos they nasty.
As cartoon waft lines snaked their way into the nostrils of all close by, Simon remarked that it ‘smelled like holiday’. Probably the best way to sum up this dish.