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Dec 29, 2012 03:18 PM

urgent- beans from scratch

In process of making beans from dry-scratch for the first time.

Stupidly, I eyeballed the water required, wrongly assuming that the cooking process was like pasta (drain once finished) rather than rice (all liquid absorbed).

Beans (white navy) are done and there's liquid still in pot. Beans are to be used in a cassoulet tomorrow and are right now sitting in the snow outside cooling. Urgent question: should I drain the beans or no?

Thanks all!

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  1. I'd leave the beans in the seasoned cooking liquid until ready to use them. When time to assemble cassoulet comes, scoop the beans out with a slotted spoon, reserving the cooking liquid, some of which will likely be needed.

    1. Relax, no harm done. You are supposed to cook beans in a large quantity of water like pasta, and drain if necessary for a dry bean dish.The broth surrounding the beans is nutrient rich and flavorful. You can drain the beans and reserve the broth for another use, or add the broth to your cassoulet along with the beans.

      1. I'd drain them, reserving the cooking liquid since you most likely will need it to complete your cassoulet (I know my recipe calls for it). I think leaving the beans in the liquid will have you looking at mush tomorrow.

        1. I'd leave them in the liquid, then use the beans tomorrow along with any liquid if needed. Once you've cooled them, they aren't going to do any further cooking in that liquid so no need to remove it immediately.

          For future reference, the cooking process *is* like pasta (drain once finished).

          2 Replies
          1. re: tcamp

            "Once you've cooled them, they aren't going to do any further cooking..."

            Exactly. When I make a batch of beans, I end up eating them over the course of several days and see no great change in texture.

            1. re: hohokam

              Except that *these* beans are going to be cooked again.

              +1 for taking them out

          2. K, we have differing points here. Let's get some clarity!

            Beans left in cooking liquid: mush or not?

            3 Replies
            1. re: biggreenmatt

              I make beans weekly in my pressure cooker, then refrigerate in the remaining liquid and we use them up throughout the week for burritos, salads, soups, etc. I've never had them turn to mush.

              But realistically, you're talking overnight. Either way will probably work fine. Maybe split them into two containers and do a little experiment?

              1. re: tcamp

                What you're all forgetting is that the beans are going to get a really good second cooking when they're baked in the cassoulet (which has broth added to it as well).

                In addition, over the years I've found that white beans tend to go softer faster than other beans.

                I've been making cassoulet for decades, & would never leave them in the cooking liquid overnight if I knew I would be baking them for at least an hour the following day.

                But you know what? Do what you want, since that's what usually happens around here anyway.

                Hope your cassoulet turns out well regardless. I'm making my usual traditional one for New Year's Day too.

                1. re: Bacardi1

                  "But you know what? Do what you want, since that's what usually happens around here anyway."

                  I know, right? It's like Ancient Rome meets Sodom and Gomorrah in here.