Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Carne En Su Jugo

I have to thank Steve at Rancho Gordo for steering me to this wonderful meal of steak and beans and bacon with a piquant beef broth spiked with chipoltes en adobo and garnished with fresh cilantro to perk up the flavor along with a squeeze of fresh lime and a few slices of jalepeno. Wow.

This is a simple preparation providing comfort food with an ethnic twist for a satisfying Saturday lunch or a Fall weeknight supper.

The anasazi beans in their pot liquor are amazing on their own. But when you add them to a little sliced up sirloin steak, some crisp bacon and a zingy broth, you'll want to be sure to have some crispy crusted bread to soak up every last drop.

I kept the leftover beans separate from the broth and meat so they wouldn't absorb all the liquid. You can heat the beans and broth separately, same as the initial preparation, or just put a little of each in a bowl and give it a quick nuking. (Not my choice - but I'm willing to concede some things - gently heating in a saucepan over a medium burner would be my option).

You could use canned beans if you don't want to cook your own beans, which by the way is easy. Rinse the dry beans, picking out any debris, cover with cold fresh water and let soak 4 - 6 hours or overnight. When ready to cook, sauté some mirepoix with garlic (dice up an onion, a celery stalk, a couple of carrots and a couple of cloves of garlic) in a little olive oil until soft. Add to the pot of beans and soaking water, bring level of water to about 2 inches above beans. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until done.

Cooking time varies depending of the variety and age of the bean. Taste testing is the best gauge. Anticipate one to two hours of cooking time, depending on the bean.

Don't salt the beans while they are cooking. The salt will prohibit softening and will actually harden the shell. But by all means, season to taste once tender. If you use canned beans, please be sure to rinse off all the goop before proceeding with the preparation.

With cool weather coming, this is a wonderful dish to add to your repetoire. Follow the easy instructions under RG Cooking, open a cold beer, and enjoy.

'til next time . . . keep on cooking!

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