Polish Beans – American Style

I believe this recipe is very popular in America and I think it is a sort of second generation recipe which is made up from memories of  dishes from Poland and some adaptations using local ingredients.

I feel this is a blend of two previous bean recipes Beans – po Staropolsku (in an old Polish style) which has a lot of sweetness using prunes and honey and Breton beans with tomato sauce.   Here the sweetness is from maple syrup (I still had some from my friend who now lives in Canada – so thought of her as when making this).


Note – these quantities do not have to be exact.

200 -300g kielbasa – Polish sausage

200 – 300g smoked bacon

400 – 500g minced beef

2 small onions

4 large tins of different beans (butter beans, canellini, haricot, red kidney etc) – some recipes say that using some butter beans is a must!

3 tablespoons of tomato puree

1 tablespoon of made-up mustard

1 tablespoon of wine or cider vinegar

250ml maple syrup

Ground black pepper

Sunflower oil for frying


Pre-heat the oven to GM3 160°C

Drain the beans and place then into an ovenproof dish with a lid.

Chop the onions into small pieces and fry them up in a little oil.

Chop the bacon into small pieces and add these to the onions and fry them together.

Slice and chop the sausage and add this to the onions and bacon.

Add the minced meat  to the mixture and fry this up for a few minutes.

Add this mixture to the beans in the dish.

Mix in the tomato puree, mustard, vinegar, maple syrup and black pepper.

Put the lid on the dish.

Cook for around 3 hours in the oven until the beans are soft.



This is suitable for making in a slow cooker.

This can be eaten as a dish on its own or served with bread.



Bean Fritters

The Polish for these is kotlety z fasoli  – cutlets from beans.

The word kotlety(plural) comes from the Italian word cotoletta(singular) for cutlet or chop.

Phaseolus vulgaris, common bean, originated from Central and South America, where it was cultivated as early as 6,000 BC in Peru and 5,000 in Mexico.  it was introduced to the Old World by the Spanish and the Portuguese.

It is a legume which means it is a plant that has its seeds contained in a shell or pod.

Most of the recipes in my books use dried beans and they are prepared by soaking them overnight and then boiling them for the required amount of time.

For ease I usually use tinned beans.

You can use haricot beans (wash off the sauce from baked beans), cannellini (white kidney) beans, butter beans and many others.


2 tins of beans

1 onion

butter for frying the onion

1 teaspoon of mixed herbs or Italian herbs

1 egg

1 – 2 tablespoons of potato flour

Dried breadcrumbs

Salt & ground black pepper

Sunflower oil for frying


Chop the onion into small pieces and gently fry in butter.

Leave to cool completely.






Rinse and drain the beans from the tins.



Pat the beans dry with kitchen roll or a clean tea towel.

Mash the beans until you have a thick smooth paste.


Add the onions and the mixed herbs.

Add the egg and mix well.

Add the potato flour to make the mixture thick.

Add salt & ground black pepper

Cover a plate or board with dried breadcrumbs.

Make flattened balls from the mixture – coating them on all sides with breadcrumbs.

Fry the fritters in hot sunflower oil.


They can be kept warm in the oven whilst you cook them in batches.

They can be reheated in the oven at GM5 – 190°C – for around 15 minutes.

Bean Fritters with Peppers & Chilli

This is a variation on the above recipe – to the mixture as above you add – 2 chopped peppers & 1-2 medium chillies or 2-3 small chillies, which have all been softened by gently frying in some butter and then added to the onion mixture. You can also add some chilli flakes.



Continue as above



Both versions of these fritters go well with a crisp salad, salsa or a sauce such as tomato or mushroom.  They also go well with meat dishes in a sauce  such as gulasz, pulpety or chicken casserole.