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Tarbais beans: season, cooking and recipe


It's not just reserved for cassoulet from its native Southwest.

Light and rich in protein, Tarbes beans can be adapted in a thousand ways. Take advantage of Easter to put it on the menu!

Cultivated at the foot of the Pyrenees, facing the Pic du Midi, in the Bigorre terroir, the Tarbais bean had almost disappeared, wiped out by the intensive cultivation of corn, from 1950. But in the 1980s, some farmers took the gamble of reintroduce its culture, then create the Interprofessional Association of Tarbais Bean (AIHT) to ensure its promotion.

Today, 66 producers cultivate this bean on 189 hectares, respecting the criteria of the Label Rouge and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) specifications.

Each year, around 170 tonnes of dry beans are harvested by hand, using the traditional method, so as not to damage the plant.

Tarbais bean: packed with qualities

Melting in the mouth, Tarbais bean cooks quickly, does not burst during cooking and does not crush on the plate.

Low in lipid (only 2% fat) and rich in fiber and protein, it is light - 168 kcal per 100 g - and more digestible than other beans.

Traditionally cooked in garbure (a soup with meat and vegetables) or in cassoulet, the Tarbais bean is also delicious hot or cold, in salad, mousse, soup, falafel… Or to accompany the traditional Easter lamb!

Tarbais beans cooked in goose fat

IIngredients for 4 people:

  • 280 g of dried Tarbais beans,
  • 1.5 tbsp. of goose fat,
  • 1 onion,
  • 1 head of garlic,
  • 1 bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, mint, bay leaf), salt.

The day before, soak the dry beans in plenty of water overnight.

The next day, put the beans in a large pot of water and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.

Melt an onion in the goose fat.

  • Add the blanched beans with the garlic and parsley.
  • Wet with an infusion of mint, thyme and bay leaf.

Leave to cook for an hour. Salt halfway through cooking.

Visual credits: © P. Boillaud

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