Place the beans in a large heavy pot with the sage leaves and
Stir in the salt and cook for another 5 minutes. (The beans can be prepared ahead to this point and stored in a well-sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer. When ready to proceed, place the beans in a large pot and reheat gently.)
Meanwhile, heat the drippings or butter in a heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and fry until well softened, about 12 minutes. Add the chile flakes and cider vinegar, stir well, and add to the beans.
Cook the beans for another minute, then serve hot, over the wild rice, topped with the optional herbs if you wish. The strong green of the herbs is beautiful against the pink of the cooked beans.
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