Friday, September 30, 2011

Santa Maria Beans

This twist on baked beans was a nice break from the traditional baked beans and they have a lot of flavors that work well with the meat and bread.

For the beans
1 lb dried pinquito or small kidney beans
1 Tbsp butter
2 slices bacon
2 ounces chopped ham
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro
3/4 cup tomato puree
1/4 cup chili sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper

Soak the beans overnight in water.

Drain the soaked beans in a colander and add them to a bot, cover with enough water to cover the beans by about 4 inches. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and reduce the heat to medium low, skim any of thr white foam that comes to the top. Simmer the beans for 1.5 to 2 hours until tender. When the beans are cooked, pour off all  but 1.5 cups of the cooking liquid.

Melt the butter in a pan and cook the bacon and ham in it, cook for about 5 minutes.Add the onion, garlic and cilantro and cook until the onion is soft. Add the tomato, chili sauce, brown sugar, mustard powder, cumin, oregano and 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of black pepper. Continue to cook and stir for 10-12 minutes until the sauce is rich and the raw tomato taste has cooked out.

Stir the tomato mixture into the beans and simmer for about 15 minutes, adding the reserved cooking liquid as needed to keep the beans from drying out. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

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