Serbian bean stew with kielbasa: a perfect hearty stew for these unstable spring days. Quickest version yet. No roux. And no wait for the beans to soak. Just a quick boil and they’re ready for cooking. Easily a GLUTEN-FREE option.
Grah or pasulj, or the bean stew, is a staple meal acros the Balkan countries.
All of us go through a grah graduation of sorts. We like it as children. Hate it as teenagers and young adults.
At maturity, we finally come to a place of understanding that grah is as Balkan as the pita itself.
There are different variations. Here is the one with kielbasa. As always, if making it for someone from the area, check whether they eat pork. If not, use a chicken kielbasa.
Variations: use a gluten-free kielbasa for a gluten-free meal.
- 10.5 ounces dry beans (navy, red kidney or other)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 yellow onion (medium, diced)
- 2–3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 carrots (medium, diced)
- 1 9-oz kielbasa (pork, turkey or chicken, cut into 1/2 inch rounds)
- 1 tablespoon parsley (minced)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper (or peppercorn)
- 1 bouillon cube (or Vegeta)
- (Optional) 1 tablespoon paprika
- In a deep pot, cover beans with water and bring to boil on high. Lower to medium and boil for 5 minutes. Strain, wash well, and discard the water. Set aside.
- In a pressure cooker* heat butter on low to medium. Add onion, garlic and carrot and simmer, stirring frequently. Add kielbasa and stir again. Add seasonings and continue stirring. Fill up the pot with 4-5 cups of water. Add beans and close the pressure cooker.
- After the first steam, cook beans for about 20 minutes (or use the stew setting on your pressure cooker).
- Serve warm.
Eat bean stew for late lunch or early dinner. It gets better after a day or two in the fridge. Skip eating it in late afternoons or evenings as it can be heavy for the digestive system at night.
*If using a regular pot, cooking time will be longer. The beans are done when they’re soft, but not falling apart, about 60-90 min.
Gluten-free: use gluten-free kielbasa and bouillon cube. Vegeta is gluten-free.
Low-carb: use a low-carb kielbasa.