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Baked beans (Prebranac or Gravce na Tavce)

Medena's picture
This is a very popular dish in the entire Balkans, mostly prepared in Serbia and Macedonia.
  Large lima beans 1 Pound
  Onions 3 Medium, cut up
  Oil 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs) (to sauté the onions and carrots)
  Carrot 1 Large, cut
  Garlic 2 Clove (10 gm), minced
  Bay leaf 1
  Paprkia seasoning 1 Tablespoon
  Ground black pepper To Taste
  Salt To Taste
  Flour 1 Tablespoon

Boil beans for about 10-15 min., and then drain completely, and add fresh boiling water, bay leaf, salt to taste, and then cook beans for 2 – 2 ½ hours over low heat. By then it will be cooked, and most water will evaporate, check occasionally to make sure you don’t completely dry them out. Drain, but save the water, don’t discard.

In a separate pan, sauté onions and carrots, and when nice and caramelized add paprika seasoning, garlic, black pepper, and a tablespoon of flour, and mix it all into cooked beans. Carefully combine, and put in a baking dish of your choice. Pour the water you saved, over the beans, top with bacon or sausages, and bake. I bake it for about 20 minutes @ 425 F.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Main Dish
Preparation Time: 
200 Minutes
Cook Time: 
150 Minutes
Ready In: 
350 Minutes
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Baked Lima Beans

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Average: 4.7 (13 votes)

Nutrition Rank

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 588 Calories from Fat 139

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 16 g24.3%

Saturated Fat 2.2 g10.9%

Trans Fat 0 g

Cholesterol 0 mg

Sodium 135.8 mg5.7%

Total Carbohydrates 89 g29.8%

Dietary Fiber 25.5 g101.9%

Sugars 15.3 g

Protein 27 g53.6%

Vitamin A 100.1% Vitamin C 20.5%

Calcium 13.6% Iron 55.9%

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet


shantihhh's picture
I use the large white Greek beans (Gigantes) to make this. Also even a mixture of beans or Peruanos work. Love these beans. I also add chopped up double smoked bacon in them. (Schaller & Webber). Every time we all get together for a mixed grill either Milka or I make these. The kids love them too. Shanti/Mary-Anne
babovics's picture
I just wanted to say that I loved this recipe and so did my Canadian roommates! (I'm Serbian so of course I like prebranac but it seems that it appeals even to Western tastes!) If you've never made this before, here are a few tips: - I find that when cooking vegetables like beans and peas, using less water is better. When you are cooking the beans on low heat, try to add enough water to cover them completely, and then a little bit more (but not too much). You can always add more water if too much of it evaporates. I didn't have any leftover water after I cooked the beans, and this didn't seem to pose a big problem. - I'm on a diet, so I used only 2 tablespoons of oil to saute the onions. Just before baking, I added 1/4 cup of Louisiana hot sauce (widely available throughout North America). This gave it a really nice tangy flavour and a slightly spicy aroma, as well as moisture without the fat. Without it, I think the dish might have been a little bland.
babovics's picture
Oh, and I should also add that I'm vegetarian, and even without the sausage/bacon, the dish was a clear hit with my meat-eating roommates.
baba sharron's picture
I made this for my husband who is Serbian. He said the house smelled just like his home in the village! We are vegetarian so to get the smoky flavor that you would normally get from the bacon, I used smoked paprika. I added a couple of tbs.of olive oil to the bottom of the baking dish so the bottom was nice and crispy and served with home made whole wheat sunflower seed bread spread with kajmak. I think the expression is "to die for."
Keti's picture
how much water do you add?
Baked Beans (Prebranac Or Gravce Na Tavce) Recipe, Baked Lima Beans