If there is one dish that describes my childhood winter weekends, it is this red bean stew. Every Saturday it simmered on my mom’s stove from early morning until early afternoon, when we would sit down at the table to enjoy our family lunch. Often we added chorizo, ribs, a slab of salty bacon, and sometimes stewed cabbage. This was serious comfort food. Because the stew is so nourishing and naturally gluten free, I continue to make it for my own family on chilly winter weekends and, I must admit, even well into spring. The red beans of Gernika or Tolosa are my favorites for it, but since they are nearly impossible to find in the United States, you can use red calypso or pinto beans, which also work well. When cooking dried beans, it is important not to season them until the very end so that they remain tender. This stew cooks slowly, but it is worth the wait.
Aran Goyoaga is a culinary-school graduate and a full-time food writer, stylist, and photographer. Her award-winning blog, Canelle et Vanille, receives millions of visits a year. Born and raised in the Basque region of Spain, she now lives in Jupiter, Florida, with her husband and two children.