Photo by Simon Wheeler
Butter beans are just another name for lima beans, especially in the South. My recommendation for these beans is “Serve with anything,” because they go with everything. But I could also say, “Serve with nothing else,” because they are satisfying all by themselves and quite irresistible when you take them from the fire—steaming, bubbling, and fragrant.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Step 2: Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until it sizzles when a piece of bacon is added. Add the rest of the bacon, the shallots, crushed garlic, and sage and cook, stirring, until the shallots are just translucent, 2 to 4 minutes.
Step 3: Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, Add the beans, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 4: Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the tomatoes and saute for 2 minutes, then add the grated garlic and oregano and cook until most of the moisture has evaporated and the tomatoes are crackling.
Step 5: Stir the tomatoes into the bean mixture, along with the prosciutto fat. Season with salt and pepper and pour into a 2-quart casserole or baking dish.
Step 6: Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the beans are velvety and creamy. If the beans start to look dry, add a splash of water.
Step 7: Stir the parsley into the beans, adjust the acidity with white wine vinegar as necessary, and drizzle generously with olive oil. Serve, or keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve.