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(Red) Beans & Rice, California Style

I met Laurie Caird at the National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa this year. She's an avid gardener and cook and was nice enough to feature us in her blog post about beans (The Secret Life of Beans) and as icing on the cake, she sent us this recipe to try. Laurie notes that you could also make this with our Sangre de Toro but we won't see them in stock from Mexico for a few months, so for now stick with Rebosero, or if you are daring and a rebel, try the Domingo Rojo. Heirloom bean field (Red) Beans & Rice, California Style 1 lb Rancho Gordo Rebosero beans 2 Tbs bacon fat 1 large yellow onion, medium dice 1 large green bell pepper, medium dice 3-4 celery ribs, medium dice 5 cloves garlic, minced 3 tsp paprika 1 lb ham hock 2 bay leaves 2 Tbs (homemade) Worcestershire sauce 2 Tbs (homemade) fig vinegar ½ tsp cayenne ½ tsp ancho chile powder 1 tsp black pepper 4 cups (homemade) vegetable stock 1 cup (Toulouse Lautrec 2008 Pinot Noir - smoky from that year's fires) red wine Boil beans in a large stock pot over medium heat for 1 hour in vegetable stock. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Using the same pot, sweat the onion, pepper and celery in bacon fat until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and paprika and saute for about 1 minute, making sure that the garlic does not brown. Add the beans, ham hock, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, cayenne, ancho, black pepper, reserved bean stock (measured), and wine. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered for 2 hours. Remove the ham hocks after 2 hours, then simmer for 45 more minutes. When the ham hocks are cool enough to handle, remove the meat and add it back into the beans. The beans are done when you’ve reached your desired consistency. I like it to be slightly thickened and less soupy. Serve with collard greens (cooked in bacon fat with onions and garlic), brown Jasmine rice (cooked in stock), and top with scallions.

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