Fasolka po Bretońsku is a traditional Polish dish, popular mainly in autumn and winter. Cooked with white beans, diced tomatoes, sausage and bacon, it is filling, warming and comforting. The Poles use a large white bean, called “Piękny Jaś”, but other white beans, like Cannellini, Great Northern or Baby Lima will also do the job. I encourage you to use only very good quality bacon and sausage; smoky but not to fatty.
It is very easy to prepare a home version of this iconic Polish dish.
Polish Beans and Sausage (Fasolka po Bretońsku)Course: Dinner, SoupsCuisine: PolishDifficulty: Simple
Traditional Polish dish, made of beans, bacon and sausage, popular mainly in autumn and winter.
400 g / 14 oz dried white beans (Cannellini, Great Northern or Baby Lima)
250 g / 8.8 oz good quality smoked bacon, diced
250 g / 8.8 oz good quality smoked sausage, cut in cubes
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large can (28 oz) diced tomatoes (alternatively 2 small cans)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 whole allspice berries (also known as pimento)
2 – 3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons dried marjoram
1 teaspoon salt + extra
freshly ground pepper
- Place the dried beans in a pot and cover with plenty of cold water (ca. 10 cm / 4 inch above the level of the beans). Set aside to soak overnight.
- The next day, drain the soaked beans and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Transfer into a large pot, pour in 1 liter (1 quart / 32 oz) of cold water, add bay leaves, allspice, and 1 teaspoon of salt, cover with a lid and bring it to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer until the beans are soft, for about 60 – 90 minutes.
- Put the diced bacon on a still cold skillet or frying pan. Turn on the heat and let the fat gradually melt, stirring frequently, until the bacon turns golden and crispy. Transfer the bacon bits to the pot with the cooked beans. Add sausage to the skillet and fry in the bacon fat until golden around the edges. Add the diced onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Finally add the minced garlic. Transfer to the pot with the beans, stir well, turn up the heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes.
- Add canned, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Spice with marjoram, salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir and continue cooking, uncovered, for another 15 minutes. Serve with a side of crusty bread.
- As an alternative to diced tomatoes and tomato paste you can use 500 ml (16.9 fl oz) of tomato passata / tomato sauce.
- In the summer season, we can use 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of fresh tomatoes + 3 tablespoons of tomato paste. Pour boiling water over the tomatoes, peel them, cut out the stalks and remove the seeds. Dice the tomato flesh and put it in the pot. Bring to a boil, then cook, uncovered, for about 20-30 minutes, finally add the tomato concentrate.