Step into spring with the Romano bean stew with veal, an excellent alternative to the heavier goulash and other winter stews.
If you are one of those folks who likes to eat their meals “with a spoon,” you’ll love today’s Romano bean stew with veal (aka boranija). Boranija is similar to other stews we’ve made, like Bosnian Veal Sauce (Sitni Ćevap), and Bosnian pot stew (bosanski lonac), yet it’s lighter. Its main ingredient is the soft and steady Romano bean. From my quick google search, it looks that Romano beans are Italian, and it makes sense these would be grown here, due to Italy’s proximity to the Balkans.
You can take a look at the preparation photos below to see what Romano beans look like. I haven’t seen this type in a lot of grocery stores, but I have come across while at the farmer’s market, so they’re definitely grown in the US. You’re welcome to use other kinds of beans, although Romano beans are my favorite for stews because of their shape: flat, wide with thin beans inside. Also, they’re more elastic than other beans, you can almost fold them halfway before they snap. This type of shape makes them perfect for stewing. They don’t take too much time to make, and the end result is a light, tasty, refreshing stew. A stew for the spring. To give a rest to ajvar (ajver) and the rest.
If you don't like veal, try other meats. It's all about letting this one simmer until you're ready to dip your spoon in.
Flat Beans Stew (Boranija)
- 3-4 ounces vegetable oil or coconut, sunflower
- 1 onion large, minced
- 1-2 carrots large, peeled, diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- (Optional) dry celery to taste
- 1 pound beef chuck or stew chuck, chuck steak, tenderloin, veal; diced
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1-1.5 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 2 pounds Romano beans ends cut off pods, pods quartered
- 1-1.5 pounds potatoes (about 2-3 large potatoes) Russett or Yukon gold; peeled, diced small
- 1 bay leaf
- 3-5 cups warm water or beef broth*
- (Optional) parsley to taste
- In a large pot heat oil over medium. Add onion, carrots, and garlic. Sauté and stir until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add meat and seasonings and sauté for an additional 10 minutes. Add ½ cup of water (or broth) while sautéing.
- Add paprika, tomato paste and sugar, Romano beans, and another cup of water (broth). Stir well, cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add potatoes, bay leaf, and the remaining water (broth). Bring the temperature down to low, cover the pot ⅔ of the way, and let the stew cook for another hour. (Optional) Garnish with parsley.
- Serve warm. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. (The stew is actually tastiest the day after it's made.) When ready to eat, reheat using your preferred method, and add a little bit of broth or liquid if necessary. Freezing: don't freeze the stew! However, you can blanch and freeze the flat bean. (Detailed instructions in text.)