Recipe corner: Macedonian bean bonanza

Wondering what to cook this weekend?  How about beans?

If you like beans, Macedonia is the place to be. The small village of Sarchievo, with only four houses and nine inhabitants, last week welcomed ten thousand people who gathered to see the new Guinness world champion cooking and preparing beans, the most popular national dish in the small Balkan country.

In a huge cauldron holding 2,600 liters of water some 400kg of beans, 91kg of bacon, 70 litres of oil, 40kg of onion, 9kg of salt, 3.6kg of red peppers, 1.5kg of pepper and a hundred tufts of parsley simmered for seven hours.

The official Guinness judge, dispatched to the scene from London, proclaimed that Sarchievo had indeed set a new world best by preparing 3,150 litres of beans. Until now the record was held by students from the US town of Horace, North Dakota, who in 2002 managed to prepare 1,342 litres of beans.

As a service to readers, here is a recipe for a smaller Macedonian bean-feast:

Ingredients needed:

– 500g of white beans
– 1 onion, 1 red paprika
– 100ml of cooking oil
– 2-3 pieces of red dry capsicum
– pepper, salt, plain flour, parsley, mint

Wash the beans and leave them to stay in water over night. After that cook them till it starts boiling, drain the beans and put them in another pot of hot water. Then add chopped onion (1/2 of it) and capsicum.

Continue to cook it till the beans are soft but integral. If there is too much water left, drain the beans.

Fry the chopped onion (the other 1/2) and paprika with one spoon of plain flour in cooking oil and then add this to the beans. Put everything in a pottery saucepan and then pour some parsley, mint, pepper and salt on it. Put the saucepan in oven and bake for a while (the beans shouldn’t be too dry).

Do let us know if you try it.