Vegan Beans and Gravy 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Nov 19, 2016

This is a main-dish gravy that works as well for special occasions as for a Sunday dinner. Dried porcini mushrooms contribute an essential earthy flavor, but they may be mixed with any number of other varieties with good results. Ladle this over mashed potatoes, grits or rice.

Make Ahead: The beans need to be soaked (see directions). They can be cooked up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated in their cooking liquid. The gravy can be prepared up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. Reheat in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Once it is warm, thin to the desired consistency with a few tablespoons of water or more bean broth.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings; makes about 4 cups

  • 3/4 cup dried small-to-medium-size brown, pink or lavender beans, such as pinto, pinquito, rio zape, eye of the goat or Good Mother Stallard
  • 5 cups water, plus more for soaking
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons sea salt, or more as needed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 ounce dried chanterelle mushrooms (may substitute another variety, such as oyster or lobster mushrooms)
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil (may substitute sesame or canola oil)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion or 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, scrubbed well and diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed


Place the beans in a large bowl and cover with water by 2 inches. Soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. (Alternatively, cover the beans with water as above but bring them to a boil in a heavy saucepan, boil for 1 minute, remove the pan from the heat and let the beans soak, covered, for 1 hour.)

Drain the beans and transfer them to a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cover with the 5 cups of water and add 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt, the bay leaf and the extra-virgin olive oil. Bring barely to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low, partially cover and cook for 45 to 90 minutes, depending on the beans' age and variety, until they are just tender. (They will continue to soften as they cool in their cooking liquid.) Remove from the heat, cover and let rest for at least 30 minutes. (If you cook the beans a day or more in advance, cool them completely and then refrigerate. Warm them on the stove in their cooking liquid over low heat before using.) Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid. Leave the beans covered in the remaining broth. Discard the bay leaf.

While the beans are cooling, place the dried mushrooms in a medium bowl and cover with the boiling water. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes, until softened. Remove the mushrooms from the bowl, squeezing them lightly to remove excess water, and reserve 1 cup of the soaking liquid. Chop the mushrooms into small pieces.

To make the roux, whisk together the peanut oil and flour in a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Cook for about 30 minutes, whisking constantly, until the roux darkens to a caramel color. If the process is taking considerably longer, you may increase the heat to medium, but make sure to avoid scorching, and keep whisking.

Add the onion, carrot and celery, stirring to coat, then cook for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the thyme and rosemary, garlic, black pepper and the remaining teaspoon of salt; cook for 3 minutes.

Whisking constantly, pour the reserved 1 1/2 cups of bean broth and the reserved cup of mushroom soaking liquid into the pot. Continue stirring until smooth, adjusting the heat so the liquid is barely bubbling. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and glossy, about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat if necessary to keep the gravy barely bubbling. Drain the beans (reserving the remaining cooking liquid; it can be used to thin any leftover gravy), and add them to the gravy; cook for 5 minutes. Taste, and add salt and/or pepper as needed.

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Recipe Source

From food writer Emily C. Horton

Tested by Kara Elder.

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