Loubia, Loobia, Lubia!
Loubia is the Algerian comparable of American Chili, Texas Ranch Beans or even English Baked Beans. In Algeria this stew is served in a cassolette with a splash of vinegar, olive oil and of course fresh baked bread. The vinegar and olive oil help to balance the heaviness of this dish. Any vinegar other than apple cider is fine to serve with it. Some people like to have additional ground cumin, minced garlic and chilies to garnish their loubia, so depending on who you are serving it’s nice to have these on the table.
Traditionally haricot beans would be used but as I live in the U.S. we call them navy beans. Great Northern Beans can be used as well, but just any white bean in general is good to use. Also as I’m an American and we do love our beef I added meatballs made of such. You can easily trade out the beef for lamb or even make it vegeterian. There are so many variations of what you can do with this. There’s even a soup called Chorba Loubia. Just add more water, potatoes and carrots. Perfect for a cold winter night.
- 2 onions diced finely
- 1 pound ground beef
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 pound navy beans (soaked)
- 2 beef bouillon cubes
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- In a large bowl take your ground beef and season with garlic powder, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
- Mix thoroughly and form into 1 1/2 inch balls.
- Set aside.
- In a pot heat olive oil and add onions.
- Sprinkle with salt and let the onions sweat until translucent.
- Add garlic and continue to saute onions and garlic. Make sure not to brown garlic as it will cause a bitter taste.
- Add meatballs and brown.
- Once all the meatballs are browned evenly add cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Add beans and 6 cups hot water.
- Bring to a boil.
- Add tomato paste and bouillon cube.
- Let boil for 1 minute, reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking for 1 hour. Occasionally testing the firmness of the beans.
- Let sit for 10 minutes and serve.
*soak beans the night prior to cooking.