Black Bean Casserole

This bean casserole makes an unusual and tasty accompaniment to barbecued spareribs or baked ham. If you do not want to soak the beans overnight, you can boil them for

4 minutes and soak them for only

2 hours.

1 lb. dried black beans large onion, chopped garlic cloves, crushed celery stalks, diced 1 carrot, diced bouquet garni, consisting of

1 parsley sprig,

1 thyme spray and

1 small bay leaf tied together

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1A oz. butter

6 fl. oz. dark rum

5 fl. oz. sour cream

Put the beans in a bowl, cover them with water and soak them overnight.

Black beans, rum, celery, carrot, onion and sour cream combine to make this unusual casserole.

Drain the beans and put them in a saucepan. Cover them with 2|- pints of cold water. Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, bouquet garni, salt and black pepper.

Bring the beans and vegetables to a boil over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours, or until the beans are almost tender. Discard the bouquet garni.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Put the beans and all the liquid in a large bean pot or ovenproof casserole. Blend in the butter and half of the rum.

Cover the casserole and bake in the oven for 2 hours or until the beans are com-pletely tender. Stir in the remaining rum, top with the sour cream and serve immediately.

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