Thursday, June 02, 2011

YEE-HAW for Rancho Gordo and Cowboy Beans!

I received a big shipment from my beloved Rancho Gordo recently (YAY!), and on the very day that the package arrived, Rancho Gordo posted a link on Facebook to a yummy-sounding recipe for "Cowboy Beans" made with their incredibly gorgeous black and white Vaquero beans. Unfortunately, though I seemed to have ordered one of nearly ever other variety that they sell, I forgot to add that one to my purchase. Oh well, next time.

But did that deter me from making the Cowboy Beans? Of course not! I just swapped out some Good Mother Stallards instead. Then I served them over cornbread with a side of smoked sausage. DELISH! Seriously, dear readers, if you have yet to get on board with the Rancho Gordo heirloom beans, you are truly missing out!

Cowgirl Beans
(Source: Adapted from

1 lb. Rancho Gordo Heirloom Beans (the recipe calls for Vaqueros, but I used Good Mother Stallards, soaked for a couple/few hours)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 lb. bacon, diced (the smokier the better)
2 medium onions, diced
2 long hot peppers, seeded and diced (or a couple/few jalapenos)
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dark chile powder (ancho would be good, too)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons beef base (I like Better Than Bouillon)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup strong brewed coffee

You probably don't need to soak the beans ahead of time, but I did for awhile. I like to do it for a few hours (covered by an inch of water) if I think of it, but if not, I just cook them longer. No biggie.

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the olive oil, and cook the bacon until crispy. Add the onions and peppers and cook until tender. Stir in the garlic, bay leaves, cumin, chile, paprika, oregano, and black pepper, and cook for another minute or two. Add the beans and their soaking liquid, then stir in the beef bouillon, brown sugar, and the coffee.

Bring to a boil, and boil for ten minutes, then cover and put in the oven on 200 degrees for eight hours or until tender. (Of course, you could also do this in a crockpot on low.) I like to put them back on the stove when they are done cooking and simmer with the lid off to reduce the pot liquor a little. (I just let it gently do its thing while I'm getting on with the rest of dinner.) Check to see if the beans need a bit of salt, and then devour in the manner of your choosing. Good stuff!

P.S. The cornbread was a mix (Martha White) and the smoked sausage was Hillshire Farms. I also added a little homemade corn relish (not pictured) on top of the beans before serving to make a very satisfying supper!
P.P.S. Leftover beans and cornbread are GREAT for breakfast with a fried egg on top!

1 comment:

Randi said...

Ive met Steve Sando at the SF Ferry Plaza Farmers market.He used to sell his own beans, now his employees do. I wish they would sell them locally in LA, I hate paying for shipping.