You know what’s crazy?! You, and about 200 other people have been reading my blog each month, and some of you I do not even know personally. It’s wild! When someone stops to tell me that they’ve cooked one of my recipes – it’s thrilling. That someone would like my recipes enough to try them out for themselves – that is the highest praise. Thank you for being here, for reading my words, and continuing to encourage me to keep on posting. If I could hug each and every one of you, I would reach through the computer and do so. And now, back to the regularly scheduled blog post…
A good potful of beans is an endlessly variable thing – the kind of hearty food that is more flavorful the next day, and can be adapted in just about any direction to add to whatever meal you’re planning. You all know by now how much I love Rancho Gordo beans, and so this recipe uses their Good Mother Stollard beans. Look at those gorgeous beans, with their burgundy zebra stripes – how can you not love them?!
I can assure you that they are every bit as tasty as they are beautiful. This is a bean that I never get tired of, and that when cooked up simply with just a few aromatics, can stand alone as a bean soup, because the pot liquor is so flavorful and thickens just a bit as the beans cook. And the finished beans are plump and soft, and take on the flavor of the onion, garlic and spices beautifully. I’d planned to eat these beans alongside some BBQ pulled pork, but they were equally good mashed into a quick refried bean and folded inside the teff quesadillas. I had thought there would be leftovers after the pulled pork dinner…but they disappeared from the pot, which is a very good sign!
A Potful of Beans
Serves 6-8 as a side dish
1/2 lb Good Mother Stollard Beans (Rancho Gordo)
1/2 white onion, diced
1 thick strip of bacon, chopped (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 T Mexican oregano, crumbled
1 tsp chipotle puree
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
- Soak the beans overnight in a large glass bowl, covered in at least 3 inches of water.
- When you’re ready to cook the beans, heat a 3qt dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon to the pot, and saute until some of the fat has rendered, but the bacon is not yet crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Add the onion to the bacon, and saute for 5-6 minutes, until the onions begin to soften, then add the garlic and stir for 1 more minute. Pour in the beans and their soaking water. Add the bay leaves, mexican oregano, cumin and smoked paprika and stir.
- Cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat so that the beans are gently simmering. Simmer until the beans are nearly done, about 1 1/2-2 hours, depending on how fresh the beans are.
- Once they’re nearly done, swirl in a spoonful of chipotle puree if you’d like a little extra heat, and then add the 1/2 tsp salt. Turn the heat off, and let the beans cool for 30 minutes, uncovered. While they rest, they’ll soak up the salt. Serve the beans as is, with some of the pot liqour, or spoon some out and mash them to make re-fried beans.