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History Cookbook: Re-fried Beans

This recipe is in categories Main courses, Tudors, Vegetarian
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  • Re-fried Beans
    Re-fried Beans
About this recipe
Healthiness : (178 votes)
Difficulty:  2 out of 5 difficulty
View a modern version of this recipe

This butter rich dish was ideal for working farmhands who have to do most of the farm work manually. It uses dried beans which have been soaked overnight. In Tudor times, dried foods were very important during the winter months when fresh food was scarce. This dish is cooked in a pan standing close to the fire. 

Onions, parsley and leeks were used to add flavour to the dried beans. The cooking pots have 3 legs or are stood on trivets with 3 feet; this helps the pot to stand safely on the uneaven hearth. The pot lids are made from wood and fit inside the pot so they do not burn. Moving the pots closer and further away from the fire controls the cooking temperature.

Here is the original recipe.

"To Frye Beanes

Take the beanes (probably broad beans) and boil them, and then put into a
frying pan with a dishful of butter, and one or two onions, and let them fry
until browned, and then add a little salt, herbs and serve."

For pictures of the cooking process see our Refried Beans Picture Gallery.

With thanks to Cathy Flower-Bond (Tudor Tales) and the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum for their help with making this podcast.

  •  2 lb butter beans, soaked overnight
  •  1 large onion, chopped
  •  half a pat butter
  •  chopped fresh parsley
  •  a little salt to taste
  • Cookpot
  • Spoon
  • Serving dish
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Warm a lidded cookpot by the fire
  2. Once the pot is hot, melt the butter
  3. Simmer the onions in the butter until soft
  4. Add the butter beans and simmer until they begin to break up a little
  5. Add the parsley, stir well until wilted
  6. Serve hot
Re-fried Beans  - print view  Re-fried Beans - print view

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There are 7 comments for this recipe.
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Name: Stephen 24th February 2018
Name: Benon 18th July 2016
The voice of ralitnatioy! Good to hear from you.
Name: Diane 10th March 2016
Can't wait to try it!
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