I think the humble dried bean often gets overlooked in the US – cast off as too time consuming to cook or too boring, or peasant food. Me, when the weather turns cool, the first thing I do is replenish my stock of heirloom Rancho Gordo beans, and grab my dutch oven to make a comforting pot of beans.
And I’m going to tell you once again, that if you haven’t tried the beans from Rancho Gordo – get on over to their site and place an order…these beans are head and shoulders above anything you get in a grocery store. Freshness matters in dried beans, and when you buy from your grocery, you don’t know if they’ve been sitting in a warehouse or on a store shelf for 3 years. Fresh beans mean creamier beans – old beans can be chalky, even when fully cooked.
I’m happy to sit down to a simple bowl of beans for lunch, spiked with herbs or chipotles, maybe with some brown rice served alongside. These pintos are so creamy, and the broth is so flavorful, they are great all on their own. We used some of the leftovers and fried them up to fill some simple quesadillas.
1/2 lb dried pinto beans, soaked overnight
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 bay leaves
1 cup homeade chicken stock (optional)
2 strips bacon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
chipotle puree to taste
- Soak the beans overnight in a large bowl covered in at least 3 inches of cold water.
- Heat a 3 quart pot over medium heat. When the pot is hot, add the bacon and cook until about halfway crisp, when some of the fat has rendered into the pot. Then, add in the diced onion, celery, bell pepper and saute until the veggies begin to soften – about 5 minutes. Then, add in the beans, chicken stock and enough water to cover the beans by about 2 inches. Bring the beans to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, and gently simmer the beans for an hour or so, until done. Add in a spoonful or two of chipotle puree to season, then add in 1/2 tsp of salt. Stir, then turn the heat off and allow the beans to rest and soak up the salt in the broth for 30 minutes or so before serving.
- If there is more broth in the pot when the beans are done than you prefer, ladle the broth off, and save it for another use – the broth is so flavorful, it shouldn’t be wasted!
164 cal/serving, 50 cal from fat, 5.7g fat, 5mg cholesterol, 520mg sodium, 150mg potassium, 33g carbs, 18g dietary fiber, 4g sugars