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Three Sisters Favorite Guajillo Beans


Rancho Gordo Dried Heirloom Beans

One of the most fun parts of running Rancho Gordo is meeting the different food-obsessed people that come looking for ingredients and/or advice. You can put a nickel in me and I just go, go, go and I love connecting with people who are passionate about food, want to make a quality product and also want to make money. It’s not an easy road but once in a while you meet a fellow entrepreneur and you just know they have “the stuff” to make it. I’ve loved working with Three Sisters Nixtamal in Portland. They came to visit when their idea was just an idea and now make 100% nixtamalized tortillas and masa for the fine people of Portland. I’ve had nothing to do with their success beyond selling them beans now and again but I’ve always enjoyed kicking ideas around and finding ways of spreading the good word about what they do. Every community deserves a Three Sisters Nixtamal. This is their way with beans.

Yield 8 cups

  • 1 pound dried heirloom beans from the Rancho Gordo-Xoxoc Project, such as Lila, Moro,or Rebosero, cooked until tender
  • 3 tablespoons olive or organic sunflower oil
  • ¾ cup finely diced onion
  • ½ cup Three Sisters Favorite Guajillo Adobo (see recipe below)
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican Oregano
  1. Heat up the oil, add the onion and cook over medium-low heat until golden-brown. Stir frequently. Add the adobo and the oregano and cook for three more minutes. Add the beans and their broth.
  2. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, adding water if needed. Mash some with the back of a spoon, or puree all or some in a blender to reach desired texture.

Three Sisters Favorite Guajillo Adobo

"This basic recipe is a great marinade for whatever kind of filling you want in your taco as well as a magical way to transform an ordinary pot of beans into the most delicious frijoles ever." - Three Sisters

  • 2 oz (12 to 15 dried) Chile Guajillo, wiped clean with a damp cloth, stemmed, split open and seeded
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 3 cloves (optional)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons agave syrup
  • Pinch of ground cumin
  1. Heat a comal or cast iron skillet to medium heat. Toast the chiles on both sides, a few at a time, making sure they do not burn. Toast the peppercorns and the cloves (if using); set aside. Soak the chiles in water until softened, about 30 minutes.
  2. Drain the chiles, discarding the water, and transfer the chiles to a blender. Add the peppercorns, cloves (if using), garlic, vinegar, salt, agave, cumin, and 2/3 cup water and blend until smooth. Add more water if needed. If you are not using a Vitamix-like blender, you may want to strain the paste for a smooth texture. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or longer in the freezer.


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