Ojo de Cabra Beans with Andouille

So I regularly order heirloom-variety beans from this place called Rancho Gordo New World Specialty Food in Napa, California.  I really like the company, because they promote  many “old” variety of new-world foods, including many varieties of beans that have been eaten by the indigenous people of the southwest US and northern Mexico for centuries.

This is my take on a recipe of theirs using a bean called “Ojo de Cabra” (Eye of the Goat)

Ingredients

  • 3 slices center-cut bacon. Cut into 1 inch squares
  • 1 andouille sausages
  • 1/2 lb. dried Ojo de Cabra beans (could substitute pintos)
  • 5 to 7 dried chile pequin, ground to dust in a molcajete/morter and pestle
  • 1/2 tblsp. red chile powder
  • 1/2 large white onion. Medium dice
  • 1 poblano pepper.  Medium dice
  • 5 cloves garlic. Minced
  • Salt(to taste)
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 bottle IPA beer (I used my homebrewed SWMBO Slayer)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 5 to 8 leaves epazote, minced*
  • Cotija cheese, crumbled, to garnish
Procedure
  1. Rinse beans and soak in cold water for at least 3 hours.
  2. Add beans to a large stockpot and cover with about 3 inches of water.  Bring to a rolling boil for about 5 minutes, then reduce heat to a minimal simmer for about 1 to 1.5 hours.
  3. In a cast-iron skillet (what else?), render bacon pieces–do not fry crispy or brown.  Remove bacon with slotted spoon, reserving in a bowl and leaving behind grease.  Fry andouille over medium heat until skin browns and crackles, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Remove sausage to cutting board to cool.  Reduce heat under skillet to lowest setting.
  4. Allow skillet to cool for a bit.  Add onions, garlic, peppers, crushed chile pequin, chili powder, salt, and pepper.  Saute mixture until onion begins to turn translucent and before garlic browns.
  5. Add beer.  Drink the other half.  Raise heat to low-medium and reduce by half.
  6. Test beans – if they are mostly soft, add in sausage, bacon, onion, epazote, and lemon juice.  Allow to simmer for 15 minutes, and test broth, adjusting seasoning as necessary.
  7. Simmer over very, very low heat until you feel like eating.  Serve over white rice with crumbled cotija cheese!
*I don’t have any suggestions for where to find epazote – I just started growing some in my patio herb garden.  It loves the hot Texas weather.
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