Cakebread Cellars’ Braised Beef with Heirloom Beans

Rancho Gordo Cooking Main Dishes Recipe for Cakebread Cellars’ Braised Beef with Heirloom Beans made with Rancho Gordo dried heirloom Yellow Indian Woman Beans and Mexican Oregano sprinkled with epazote like that pictured here growing in a pot

Cakebread Cellars seems to be everyone's favorite wine and with good reason. Along with their wonderful product is a real commitment to sustainable agriculture and a dedication to educating chefs, growers, the press and the public on the possibilities of wine and food pairings. They've also been champions of the Rancho Gordo cause, featuring heirloom beans, developing recipes using my product and allowing me to participate in the their American Harvest Workshop.

  • 1 tablespoon. Olive Oil
  • 2 lbs. Beef Brisket, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 Onions, diced
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 4 Ancho Peppers, re-hydrated, de-seeded, and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Garlic
  • 1 cup Tomatoes, seeded & diced
  • 1 cup Red Wine
  • 1 cup Rancho Gordo Yellow Indian Woman Beans, soaked 6-8 hours
  • 1 quart Beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican Oregano, dried
  • 2 tablespoons Cumin, ground
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander, ground
  • 1 tablespoon Smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Epazote*
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons Sour cream


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Place a medium deep-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 1 T. of olive oil. Lightly season the brisket with salt and pepper, and sear on all sides in the sauté pan. Make sure that the meat is browned well on all sides. Remove the brisket from the pan and place on a plate to rest. Immediately add the onions and carrots to the sauté pan, stir in well and reduce the heat to medium. After 5 minutes, add the anchos and garlic, stir well. Five minutes later add the tomatoes and cook until dry or all the excess liquid has evaporated. Add the wine and reduce by half. Add the beef broth and bring the ingredients to a slow boil. Place the pieces of brisket in the broth, covering it with liquid. Place a lid on the pan and place the pan in the 350°F oven. Cook for 2 hours.    
  2. After 2 hours, remove the pan from the oven and add the beans, oregano, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, and epazote and stir well. If the liquid has been absorbed or the pan looks dry, add more broth or water until it has a soup consistency. Cover with the lid and place the pan back in the oven for 1 hour.
  3. Take the pan from the oven and remove the beef from the beans to a plate to rest. Taste the beans for doneness and seasoning, if needed add salt and pepper. To serve, slice the brisket; ladle the beans in a bowl, top with the sliced brisket, and garnish with fresh cilantro and sour cream.

Enjoy with a glass of 2002 Cakebread Cellars Syrah.

* Epazote can be found a most Mexican markets or at the Rancho Gordo booth when in season.