Do I know what the hell I’m doing? Absolutely not. However, I am bright enough to know when the inspiration hits? Run like a 9 legged, 3 winged duck on acid. Yeah buddy, contemplate that one on The Tree of Woe.
I visted my favorite El Salvadorean market (Joya de Ceren) last night to pick up some tortillas for Tiny E’s cheese & bacon burritos, Omar wasn’t there though. I just couldn’t leave without something else, had to find something. Turns out they got a bitchen selection of really great looking beans from El Salvador. I grabbed me a packge of the red ones!
Tiny E and I had such an absolute great time putting all this together. He was shaking with glee as he realized there was no recipe. “No recipe? OH PAPA !!!”
Here’s the recipe we begat:
1 pound o’ beans
3/4 pound smoky slab bacon (sliced bacon falls apart too easily)
1 large white onion
6 – 8 fresh garlic cloves
Dried smoky chile peppers (or canned chipotle)
1 teaspoonful whole cumin seeds (toasted)
Quart o’ chicken broth
Quick-soak the beans. Rinse and pull out any funky beans and stones. Install to stove in large, heavy pot with more than enough water (from cold water tap, not hot) to cover. Bring to boil for a few minutes. Turn off heat and cover for about an hour. I think that’s how it’s supposed to go.
While that’s doing its thing, it’s time to make some Meat Liquor. Dice up the bacon and render it down a bit, just a tad of color. Don’t fully cook it, we’ll need some of that fat for the beans. Set bacon aside and save fat for cornbread. Without cleaning the pan, give some color to the onion, and just before that’s done, add the garlic. Smoosh the garlic, but don’t cut it. When you smell good garlic smell, add the bacon and the cumin.
While this is sizzlin’ away, add the chile peppers. I used 3 little smoked dudes I had in the cupboard. I removed the stems, most of the seeds and veins and just tossed them in whole. This is usually a nono, but it was Tuesday night. I don’t have time to be too fussy. I figured if they didn’t fall apart, I could pull them. If they did? Golden.
Ya know, I seem to remember Jlee telling me that works great.
Stir around and add enough broth to cover and get that baby simmering. You have probably less than an hour to get that reduced a bit. I drink your meat liquor, I drink it up!
Oh yes, go ahead and click for larger. Check out that translucent onion of love.
MMmMmMmmmm, meat liquor.
When the beans are ready, rinse thoroughly, return beans to pot, add liquor to beans. I’m really bad with liquid levels, so add enough cover the beans well. Simmer with lid cocked to the side just a tad. Package said an hour would do it, but you need more than that. If you see the liquid languishing after an hour, remove the lid entirely until you get the juicy constency you’re looking for.
In a few hours the peppers had disapeared and all was well. It was absolutely spectacular and using the liquor really added a rich aroma early on with a jumpstart on goodness. And no, Tiny E didn’t have any, he was fine with his bacon and cheese rolls.