Sous Vide White Beans; Ragout with Bacon and Celery

This is an example of the benefits of sous vide in unlikely applications. Sous vide processing prevents structural damage to the beans.

sous vide beans


Serves Four
Level of difficulty 2.25

White Beans, Dried, 4 oz./120 g.
Water, 3 cups/700 ml.
Bacon, 3 oz./90 g, chopped.
Celery, 6 stalks,
Garlic, chopped, .5 oz./10 g.
Ginger, fresh, smashed with a meat tenderizer, 1 oz./30 g.
Cool Rub mix, 2 T/30 ml, see link to recipe below.
Stovetop Espagnole 2 oz./60 ml.
Butter, 2 oz./60 g.
Chopped parsley, as needed.
Cholula sauce, or equivalent–Sriracha, Frank’s, Tabasco, Durkees, etc.–to taste.

Equipment requirements
Immersion circulator, portable or stationary.
Heat rated container, minimum of 2 gallons/8 liters.
Heat rated sous vide bags.
Flat bottomed skillet, approximately 12″/30 cm. and 3″/90 mm deep.
Wooden spoon.
Wire whisk.
Infrared or probe thermometer.


Add the water to beans and process in sous vide bath at
183 F/84 C for two hours.

At that point, drain the beans and discard the water. Combine the beans and 12 oz. /360 ml. water again and process at
183 F/84 C for at least 4 hours, or until the beans are fully cooked.

Remove from the bag and spread out on a sheet pan to cool. Examine for debris. Separate the beans from the juice and reserve both.

While the beans cool, chop the bacon and the celery. Fry the bacon on medium heat until it achieves color and add the celery.

Add the smashed ginger and the garlic; continue to saute. Do not over stir, let the ingredients sizzle but not pop. Over stirring will result in water pooling in the pan, creating a mushy and boiled effect.

Add the Cool Rub seasoning. Continue to saute the mixture for five minutes. Add 0.5 cup/120 ml. of the bean cooking liquid. Bring to boil and reduce slightly.

Drain the beans and add to the ragout. Add the Stovetop Espagnole. Simmer to desired concentration. This can be served as a hearty soup or even as an alternative to the typical BBQ beans or chili as a side dish. Add the cold butter and simmer in. This will emulsify the liquids, giving you a shiny, unctuous result. Check seasoning, add salt and pepper or a little bit more of the Cool Rub as needed.

With summer now upon us (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway), this is a great dish to be served at the prototypical back yard picnic event with corn on the cob. For the time being, I served the dish as a stand alone luncheon entrée, see below! Drizzle with Cholula or your choice of spicy sauce.

Up close, you can see that the beans maintain their structural integrity. This effect is unique to sous vide.

A little chopped parsley at the very end adds pop to the appearance. Since there are no tomatoes in this dish, that little splash of spicy sauce balances the color profile.



Traditional methods always result in a certain amount of beans falling apart. This method eliminates that tendency as a result of no friction being applied during the cooking process.

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