Sunday, July 7, 2013

Ranch Style Beans

 
What is it with my love affair with beans? Do I dig deep into my Mexican genetic pool, to explain why a savory pot of beans makes my world go round? One of my favorite comfort meals would be narrowed down to either Red Beans & Brown Rice, or Chili Con Carne with flour tortillas.

When it comes to grilling season, I'm always game to try a new bean recipes-- to set along side grilled meats.  My guests appreciate them, too, and this recipe is no exception.  I've always wanted to see if I could make my own Texas Ranch Style Beans.

 
The first place I searched was one of my favorite cookbooks, "The Homesick Texan" (author/blogger: Lisa Fain).  I came up with nothing-- until I searched her blog .  Lo and behold, she had created her own version and I decided to try her recipe.   I've made a few of her recipes with success (like her Breakfast Migas--yum).
 
I have nothing against canned beans. But, dried beans are inexpensive and I don't mind giving them an overnight soaking. I do add baking soda, myself, during the soaking process to help-- ahem-- with the after-effects of eating fiber laden beans.  (There's a quick soak method, too.)

Ancho chilis are inexpensive and I try to keep a few on hand, in my pantry.  In a pre-heated, hot skillet (I prefer cast iron) you want to cook them for a minutes-- kind of a snap, crackle and pop effect. Then, you add water allow them to rehydrate for a bit... oh, an hour should do it.

For spices/aromatics, we'll need brown sugar, paprika, cumin and dried oregano and 15 ounces of tomatoes.  We'll need some apple cider vinegar.  Plenty of garlic and onion is needed, too-- like one big onion and six cloves of fresh garlic.

In a skillet, with a bit of canola oil, the onions are cooked until soft, and then the garlic is added for about a minute.  Now, we add this to a food processor (or you can use an immersion blender) and we add the rehydrated Ancho chiles, spices, water and vinegar.  Puree until smooth.  I can assure you that this puree is not fire-breathing hot, but it's plenty flavorful. NOTE: I bumped up the cumin a bit more, because I love it. Adjust the seasonings to your own preference.

To the soaked beans, six cups of beef broth is added...



...and the puree is added.  Bring the beans to a boil on high, and then cover and simmer for about 2-1/2 hours. Stir occasionally, and check that they beans don't overcook to the point that they become mush. No Bueno. Season with salt & pepper, to your liking.
NOTE: Before you ask if you can cook these in a slow cooker, I would say "no".  I believe that dried beans need to be slow simmered, on the stove. Otherwise, you risk them being undercooked-- which isn't a pleasant texture.  At some point, I'll try to adapt these using my digital pressure cooker.

Just as Bush's Baked Beans claims their recipe is "top secret", so goes the claim for canned Ranch Style Beans. I give several high-fives to Lisa Fain's version of these beans. The ancho chilis give a rich and smoky flavor to the beans, and I cooked mine to be on the thicker side.  For those of you who can't handle really spicy/hot food, these beans will not disappoint.  There were no leftovers, or I'd have eaten them the following day. Sigh.

Dear Readers/Fellow Bloggers & Friends-- I am digging deep into my archives of unpublished recipes. As of today, I'm still not able to cook or bake.  From the depths of my heart and soul, I thank all of you who left comments about my recent knee surgery. Many of you were very new to me, and I'm so pleased to meet you!  You encouragement lifted my spirits, immensely.  I'm at "T" minus 14 days until I must return to my job. It's going to be a long road, ahead, for me to be able to stand for lengths at a time. I'm becoming more confident in getting around, but my walker or cane is close at hand. I'm still unable to walk without any kind of assistance.

I weighed myself, yesterday, and I've lost nine pounds!   My appetite is much smaller than usual, and I'm pretty much at the mercy of my husband... who still hates to cook, but does the best he can for me.  I'm going to try and get back into the kitchen, but I'm not sure I can balance my walker/cane and camera. I'll give it a good try!

I'm in much better spirits, gaining strength every day and have a love/hate relationship with my physical therapy sessions (in my home).  I can hardly wait to get the green light from my orthopedic surgeon to get into some water therapy. This is where I feel most confident. Soon!

A printable recipe is at the end of this post, as always.

I love the Food Blogger Community-- you are such loving and supportive folks.

Thank you!






Pin It

27 comments:

Kate said...

I love to find new bean recipes. This one sounds like a "must make"! Thank you. Take care....I know it is a very slow process....

Velva said...

I grew up on beans and have a total appreciation for them. This looks really good.

Velva

bellini said...

Every Friday night growing up w had beans on toast, from a can of course. But I know I would enjoy thee homemade bean.

AdriBarr said...

This sounds great, and the photograph is super tempting. I love beans. They are an inexpensive and versatile food. I'll have to try this recipe. Thanks!

lynda stanton said...

the bean recipe sounds wonderful! But, please don't rush getting back in the kitchen to cook,. The best thing you can do is go slow, slow, slow and use your walking help! Do NOT risk a fall, it will
be awful for you. Thanks
Lynda Stanton

Penny said...

These really do sound good Debby. I love cooking with dried beans. Hope you are back on your feet and cooking soon. Good luck.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

This sounds great Debby. I'm a big bean lover from childhood and when you have the time, it's always better to use dried beans.

So glad you are feeling better. I've been thinking of you.
Sam

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Since I started soaking and cooking my own beans this year I have really been wanting to do my own recipe for picnic baked beans. It's hard to find recipes for inspiration. It seems soany recipes are about doctoring up beans in a can. Thanks for posting this. I love that you did it from scratch and added the spicy peppers - yum!

Sending lots of get well wishes to you. My horsies send them too!

Big Dude said...

The beans sound very good and I hope your recovery continues to progress smoothly.

Kim said...

Like you, I totally love beans. I could eat them every day and never get tired of them. These look SO good!

Keep hanging in there, Debby! I know you are probably scared about trying to go back to work in 14 days, but so much can happen between now and then. I bet you will be feeling much better soon!

Kim said...

Like you, I totally love beans. I could eat them every day and never get tired of them. These look SO good!

Keep hanging in there, Debby! I know you are probably scared about trying to go back to work in 14 days, but so much can happen between now and then. I bet you will be feeling much better soon!

bakerfamily5 said...

I am new to your blog and your recipes look fab! I will wait patiently for you to recover :)

Bill said...

Hi Debby, so glad you're making progress after surgery. I have a couple of friends who have had knee surgery and it does get better.

Thanks for a great bean recipe. I love baked beans and I've been needing a new one for a cookout I'm planning. Thanks for sharing!

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

There are few things better than a pot of homemade baked beans. I could eat them 3 meals a day. My grandmother used to make us sandwiches out of them. We loved it. I think you are doing an amazing job of getting back on your feet although I know it doesn't feel like it to you. Have a lovely day.

Joanne said...

I have a feeling that once you're able to get in the water, things will progress at a super speedy rate!! Thinking of you!! These beans sound lovely! So chock full of flavor!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Growing up in Texas, there were always cans of Ranch Style Beans in our Pantry. I can't wait to try this recipe.

Christine said...

Num, num, num...thanks for the tip on the baking soda. Didn't know that! Glad you're feeling better and don't worry about not posting. :)

Sherri @ The Well Floured Kitchen said...

This looks great! I've never seen beans served up like this, I can't wait to try it.

Rashmi K said...

Looks delish, as always. :) Hope your pain has subsided. Wish you a quick and long term recovery, Debbie. Best Wishes.

Mrs. Jeffries said...

I love "Homesick Texan"! I have made these beans many times and have put them in my "make so often you can do it by heart" file. (did you know she is working on a new book?) And I love "A Feast for the Eyes" you are my tow favorites in the entire internet universe.

I wish you speedy recovery and I look forward to fall when you are back on top of your game 100%! You have inspired me to host an Oktoberfest at my house ... so I will be waiting for your online guidance!
Have a beautiful day!

Cedarglen said...

Hello Debbie. I hope the knee is getting better. I too am a big fan of beans and always looking for ways to 'enhance' them. This looks like a fun/delicious recipe and also includes season ideas for other types. I too cook my own from dry, even for ordinary RF, mostly because I can control the ingredients and texture. This is a keeper and many thanks. -Craig

Cedarglen said...

Addendum: Yup, I've tried cooking (soaked from dry) beans with and without baking soda and using Identical methods. So help me, but I cannot tell the difference. It it matters, I do the initial cooking in a pressure cooker, then simmer if other flavors/ingredients need to meld. And I suppose it is true... men don't much care about the 'byproducts' of beans. The only time I avoid beans is when I expect to be flying... -C.

Unknown said...

Beans "make the world go round". I like that. GREG

Debra Eliotseats said...

I had to comment. My sister loves ranch style beans and she cannot buy them in Iowa. (Must be a regional thing.) We both remember when the can said "Husband Pleasin'" instead of "Appetite Pleasin'." :)

(And, I hope you are back up and runnin' soon in the kitchen.)

The Sketched Chef said...

This is absolutely amazing !
I really love these kind of food

Sue/the view from great island said...

Oh these looks amazing, I love that shot of the big pot!

Kathy MomOfNine said...

This bean recipe looks terrific. The pictures are wonderful. Hoping you are up and about and feeling great soon!