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Bean Club NEWS

Q1 2024 Bean Club Townhall

Watch our Q1 townhall where we dive into each bean and field your questions!

1st QUARTER 2024

From Steve:

"This installment of Bean Club includes my Moby Dick bean: Caballero. A friend brought them back from a trip to Peru, in the early days of Rancho Gordo. The idea of importing a bean from another country seemed like an impossible goal but I sure loved this bean..."

Uncooked Caballero beans.


Caballero Bean

My Moby Dick bean: Caballero.

As mentioned before, the idea of importing a bean from another country seemed like an impossible goal but I sure loved this bean. How special could a round, white bean be? It turns out, very special.

Over the years we’ve hunted for suppliers and sometimes it worked, most times it didn’t. We are working with special growers and the idea is to create a good, long-term relationship that will last season after season. That’s our plan and it doesn’t happen fast, unfortunately.

You are now the proud owner of a pound and I
hope you find them as delicious as I do. Inevitably, the next question will be the best recipe for
them. We have a good one for you but it's more
for using up leftovers than really enjoying the
beans themselves. It does dawn on me that as I
age (and quite well, thank you!), I prefer really good, simple food. I love trying new things and often do, but I don’t know how you best a pot of good well-seasoned beans.
You make the pot, you serve them with roasted vegetables or dollop of reduced leeks, or as a bed for grilled fish, but more and more, I want to do
less and less. It’s not because I’m lazy but I really appreciate the ingredients and beyond a tweak or two, they don’t need my help.

"Six bean chili" is probably a great thing in the right hands, but from my perspective, the simpler route is the better route.
I know there are a lot of people, even Bean Club
members, who would disagree, but my hope is
that at the very least, before you cook a dish with
Caballero or any other of our beans, take a small
bowl of the cooked beans, salt to taste, and add
a scant drizzle of your finest olive oil. Turn off all
the media and sit down and appreciate the glory
that is good, well-prepared beans in their broth.

Notice the texture, the skin, the pot liquor, and
even the smells. It’s likely to be a divine moment
between you and your legumes. Life doesn’t seem
to deliver so much for so little very often. Beans are different. Bean People are different! I’m glad we’ve all found each other. — Steve Sando


This gorgeous white orb of creamy Peruvian goodness makes my toes curl. It’s so damn good!
I served it for dinner not long ago and one of the guests asked if it was cream or butter in the beans.
Neither, friends! It was the simple Caballero bean. Because it’s a white bean, it tends to be cuisine neutral. I love it in a chile sauce but it’s also perfect for beans on toast or even a pasta e fagioli.


This dish is made for leftovers. You can adjust
the ingredient amounts, and the ingredients,
based on what you have available. Traditionally,
Mayocoba beans and white rice are used, but we
tried it with our brown rice and Caballero beans
and loved the result. We used Peruvian ají roccoto
paste because we had it on hand, but ají amarillo
paste seems to be the standard.

3 cups cooked, drained Rancho Gordo Caballero,
Mayocoba, or Mantequilla beans
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon Rancho Gordo Oregano Indio or
Mexican Oregano
2 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
3 to 4 tablespoons oil
1 cup thinly sliced onion (about 1 small onion)
1/2 cup thinly sliced tomato
1 teaspoon ají amarillo paste, or 1/2 teaspoon ají
roccoto paste, or hot sauce of your choice, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Salsa Criolla:
1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Rancho Gordo Oregano Indio or
Mexican Oregano
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon ají amarillo paste, or 1/4 teaspoon ají
roccoto paste, or hot sauce of your choice, to taste
Salt to taste
Makes 4 to 6 side servings

In a food processor, combine the beans, oregano, and half of the garlic and puree briefly until
mostly smooth but still chunky.
In a large bowl, combine the bean mixture with
the cooked rice.
In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat,
heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering.
Add the onion and remaining garlic and cook,
stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and ají paste, and continue to
cook for a few minutes. Add the mixture to the
bowl with the beans and rice and mix well to
combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
In another bowl, make the Salsa Criolla: combine the onion, oregano, lime juice, ají paste,
and a generous sprinkle of salt. Stir to combine.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
Wipe the skillet clean. Depending on the size
of your skillet, you can make one large cake, or
divide the bean-rice mixture in half and make two
smaller cakes. Have ready a heatproof plate larger
than your skillet (preferably with no rim).
Place the skillet over medium heat, add 1/2
tablespoon oil, and heat until shimmering. Add
the bean-rice mixture (all or half, depending
on your skillet) and spread it into a cake shape,
evenly and lightly packing it down. Cook until
deeply browned on the bottom, 7 to 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat, invert the plate on top
of the skillet, and carefully flip both over to land
the bean-rice cake bottom-side up onto the plate.
Return the skillet to medium heat, add 1/2 tablespoon oil, and slide the cake back into the skillet.
Cook for another 7 or so minutes, or until deeply browned on the other side. Invert the plate and flip the skillet
over again to land the cake onto
the plate. If the cake cracks or
breaks apart, just pat it back
together. Repeat this process if
making a second cake.
Top with the Salsa Criolla and
serve hot.

Uncooked Mantequilla beans


Mantequilla Bean

Mantequilla translates in English to "butter," but these should not be confused with butter beans, which are small, fresh baby limas in most parts of the south.

I first had Mantequilla beans in Guanajuato, Mexico,
as a bed for a whole deep-fried
fish. They are somewhat mild
and non-cuisine specific.


As I mentioned, more and more, I find myself
cooking and enjoying simple food—the fewer
ingredients the better. My newest obsession is
slowly cooked leeks dolloped on top of a bowl of
warm heirloom beans. It really doesn't get much
better than this.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large leek, trimmed, sliced, and rinsed well
Salt to taste
1 to 2 cups cooked Mantequilla, Caballero, or
other mild heirloom beans, warmed with some broth
Makes 1 to 2 servings
In a saute pan or skillet over medium-low
heat, warm the butter and oil. Add the leek and
a sprinkle of salt and cook, stirring occasionally,
until it is completely soft and caramelized, 20 to
30 minutes.
Place the warm beans and broth in a bowl (or
bowls) and top with a scoop of cooked leeks.

A full frame of pink/brown pinto beans


Pinto Bean

Soft, creamy, and versatile—what's not to love about the Pinto bean?

It is most popular in Northern Mexico and the Southwestern United States, but beloved all over the world. The obvious choice for cooked Pintos is refried beans, but don't forget them for soups, stews, and
brothy bean dishes like charro beans. Pinto translates in English to "painted," referring to the speckled look of the bean. It's interesting to note that the name of the stew below, featuring Pinto beans, translates to "painted hen," most likely referring to the colorful ingredients.


A brothy hominy and bean stew, popular in the
state of Sonora, in Northern Mexico. It's traditionally topped with chiltepín chiles, a small,
spicy chile that's grown all over the region, but
hard to find in the US. If you want to add some
heat, you could garnish with minced serrano or
habanero chile, or your favorite chile paste.
11/2 pounds oxtail
11/2 pounds chamorro (beef cross-cut hind shanks)
1 pound uncooked Rancho Gordo Pinto beans
1 medium white onion, peeled and halved
2 small anaheim peppers

1 garlic head, cut at the top, plus 2 garlic cloves,
2 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh cilantro, tied with kitchen twine
1 pound Rancho Gordo White Corn Posole/
Prepared Hominy, cooked (about 8 cups cooked)
1 teaspoon Rancho Gordo Oregano Indio or
Mexican Oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 roma tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 teaspoon beef or chicken broth
1 cup beef broth from the cooking soup
Chopped onion, cilantro, radish, and/or minced
serrano or habanero chile for garnish
Lime wedges for serving
Makes 4 to 6 servings
In a very large pot over high heat, bring 16 cups
water to a boil. Add the beef. Continue to boil,
removing the foam that forms on the surface.
Once the foam has been removed, add the beans
along with the half of the onion, a whole anaheim
chile, the garlic head, bay leaves, and cilantro.
Cover and cook over medium heat until the beans
are just tender, 1 to 2 hours.
Remove the onion halves, green chile, garlic,
bay leaves, and cilantro. Discard.
Meanwhile, stem and roughly chop the remaining chile. In a blender, combine the chile, tomatoes, remaining onion half, 2 garlic cloves,
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and 1 cup of the
beef broth. Blend until smooth.
To the stew, add the cooked posole, oregano,
and tomato salsa. Cover and cook for 20 to 30
more minutes to blend the flavors. Taste, and
season with salt and pepper. Serve with desired
garnishes and lime wedges.

Rio Zape bean - Rancho Gordo, Heirloom beans


Rio Zape Bean

It might seem odd to describe a bean as “rich” but Rio Zape are just that.

Aside from being pretty, they reveal hints of chocolate and coffee when cooked and the bean broth is legendary. “Tens across the board!” for this bean.


From The Rancho Gordo Vegetarian Kitchen,
Volume 1 (Rancho Gordo Press, 2019).
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into
rounds or wedges
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Rancho Gordo Stardust Dipping Powder or
New Mexican Chile Powder
Salt and pepper
2 cups cooked Rancho Gordo Rio Zape or
Midnight Black beans
2 cups cooked brown or white rice
For the Green Sauce:
1½ cups plain yogurt (or sour cream)
1 small bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed
2 green onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 small jalapeño chile, seeded and
chopped (optional)
Juice of 1 to 2 limes
Makes 6 servings

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking
sheet with foil and coat with 1 tablespoon of the
olive oil. In a bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with
the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and a liberal
amount of Stardust, salt, and pepper. Spread the
sweet potatoes on the baking sheet in a single
layer; bake until soft, about 30 minutes. Raise
the oven temperature to 450°F and bake until the
edges of the sweet potatoes are caramelized, about
10 more minutes. Check the sweet potatoes often
and move them around on the sheet to make sure they don’t stick or burn.
In a small saucepan, warm the beans over low
heat. Add the rice and stir to combine. Keep
To make the Green Sauce, place the yogurt,
cilantro, green onion, garlic, and chile (if using)
in a blender; blend until smooth. Add lime juice
and salt to taste.
Divide the rice-and-bean mixture among plates,
top with sweet potatoes, and drizzle with the
green sauce. Serve extra sauce at the table.


Check beans for debris, and rinse thoroughly. In a large pot, sauté aromatic vegetables (onions, garlic, celery, carrot, etc.) in olive oil. Add beans and enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring to a full boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, using a lid to help regulate the heat, and gently cook until done, 1 to 3 hours. Salt when the beans start to soften. A pre-soak of 2 to 6 hours will lessen the cooking time.


Masoor Dal (Split Red Lentils)

Not many legumes have made the impact on our Bean Club members as these have.

They are delicious, easy, and quick! They are lentils but don’t try and keep them whole. The point is they disintegrate. Embrace it!


This is about the simplest soup you could imagine. You could get creative with the garnishes: add
a homemade crouton or two, a swirl of yogurt, or
a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. We blended the soup
and appreciated the smooth consistency, but it's
not necessary if you prefer more texture.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Rancho Gordo New Mexican
chile powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 pound uncooked Rancho Gordo Masoor Dal
(Split Red Lentils), rinsed
Makes 4 servings
In a soup pot over medium-low heat, warm the
olive oil. Add the celery, carrot, onion, and garlic,
and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add 1 cup water, cover,
and cook for 5 minutes to soften the carrots.
Uncover and stir in the salt, chile powder,
cumin, and pepper. Add the red lentils along with
4 cups water and stir well. Bring to a simmer,
then lower the heat, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, until the soup has thickened.
Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor
or use an immersion blender, and process until
smooth. Return to the pot, adjust seasoning, and
reheat before serving.

Dried Rancho Gordo Vaquero Bean


Vaquero BEAN

Vaquero is a thin-skinned bean that seems destined for chili—con or sin carne.

Like most beans, it has a rich, velvety bean broth that can be used in a chili, even if you’re not using beans. Apparently it’s illegal to use beans in chili in Texas but go ahead and blame me if you are tempted.


Reprinted from The Complete Beans & Grains
Cookbook: A Comprehensive Guide with 450+
Recipes by America's Test Kitchen. The book will
be released on February 6, 2024, and it's sure to
be a valuable resource for The People of the Bean!
The original recipe calls for Orca beans, but we're
suggesting our Vaquero beans, which are similar.

For the dip:
1½ tablespoons table salt for brining
8 ounces (1 cup) uncooked Rancho Gordo Vaquero
beans (or Orca beans), picked over and rinsed
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 scallions
2 teaspoons table salt for cooking beans
2½ tablespoons lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin

For the Tatbeeleh Topping:
2 jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded, and finely
¼ cup finely chopped onion
2 scallions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
½ teaspoon table salt
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra
for drizzling
Flake sea salt
Makes 4 side servings

1. Dissolve 1½ tablespoons salt in 2 quarts cold
water in large container. Add beans and soak at
room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to
24 hours. Drain and rinse well. (RG Note: We
don't recommend soaking Rancho Gordo beans for
more than 8 hours.)
2. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high
heat until shimmering. Reduce heat to medium,
add scallions, and cook until spotty brown, 4 to
6 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.
Add soaked beans and 7 cups water to Dutch
oven with scallions and bring to simmer. Simmer,
partially covered, over medium-low heat until
beans are very tender, about 40 minutes. Off heat,
stir in 2 teaspoons salt, cover, and let sit for
15 minutes.
3. Drain beans, reserving 3 tablespoons cooking
liquid and discarding charred scallions. Return
beans to Dutch oven and stir in lemon juice, garlic, and cumin. Transfer 1½ cups bean mixture to
food processor along with reserved cooking liquid
and process until mostly smooth with some small
pieces visible, about 10 seconds. Return processed
beans to Dutch oven with remaining whole beans
and stir to combine.
FOR THE TOPPING: Combine all ingredients
in bowl. Transfer warm dip to serving bowl and
top with tatbeeleh topping. Drizzle with extra oil
and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve.

Rancho Gordo dried California Brown Rice


California Brown Rice

So many of us grew up disliking brown rice and
with good reason.

There’s a lot of bad rice out there! Ours is new crop, California-grown and quite delicious.


In Mexico, arroz con leche is a popular sweet
dish made with white rice, canela, and milk. We
tried it with our brown rice and while it was
different from the classic, it was quite delicious.
¾ cup Rancho Gordo California Brown Rice
1 stick canela (soft cinnamon)
¾ cup whole milk
½ cup condensed milk
¼ cup raisins (optional)
Ground cinnamon for garnish
Makes 4 servings
Rinse the rice. In a saucepan over high heat,
bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add the rice and
canela, stir, then cover and simmer over low heat
for 35 to 40 minutes, until the rice is tender.
In a bowl, combine the whole milk with the
condensed milk. Add the milk mixture and the
raisins (if using) to the rice and stir. Cover and
cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until
the mixture thickens, 10 to 15 minutes. The rice
should have a soft, pudding-like consistency. If it
is too dry, you can stir in ¼ cup of warm milk.
If serving warm, place in small bowls and dust
with cinnamon. If serving cold, transfer the rice
to a container and refrigerate. Dust with cinnamon before serving.



Rejoice People of the Bean! You now get a Bean Club Portal as one handy place to keep track of all things Rancho Gordo.

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Coming soon:

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