June 23, 2018
We had some friends over for a summer dinner this past weekend. I picked up a tri-tip from Costco and cooked some Santa Maria Pinquito beans which is the traditional side dish for tri-tip. Last month I ordered some Rancho Gordo beans expressly for this purpose.
My guess is “pinquito” translates to “little pink”. These beans certainly fit that description.
Most of the time when I cook beans I use a similar recipe: soak the beans overnight, sauté onion in some bacon fat, add some spices – especially cumin – and then cook with a bay leaf, slightly smashed garlic cloves, and 1/2 and onion. Santa Maria beans have a much different profile; I figured in for a penny in for a dollar so I used a recipe from DadCooksDinner . I used his recipe exactly except I substituted a cup of chicken stock for an equal amount of water.
Sometimes it makes me crazy when people say they used a recipe with just a couple of adjustments: like “I substituted a rib eye steak for the portobello mushrooms, and grilled it instead of baking; it was great!” But this was substantially Mike Vrobel’s recipe. I trust the change I made isn’t substantial.
Instead of soaking the beans as I normally would, I cooked them up after picking them over for any rocks and giving them a quick rinse. I pulled out the ingredients.
As you can see, no cumin but we add dry mustard and tomato sauce.
I browned the bacon, then added the onion and garlic and a bit of salt for a few minutes; then tossed in the mustard and baking soda along with the tomato sauce, water, and chicken stock and cooked under high pressure. After cooking they had a nice rich broth like the other beans I’ve purchased from Rancho Gordo.
Um, and then I got caught up hanging out with friends and neglected to get pictures of the tri-tip or the grill prep. Oops, But I’ve cooked tri-tip before and you can read about it here.
We had a nice dinner and the beans were a hit – Jay had seconds.
I was keeping a cooking log for the tri-tip but again I got too involved in conversation and just didn’t complete it. When I realized I had sliced up the tri-tip before taking a picture of the finished product, I knew I was off my game. Sorry.
I wasn’t a fan of these beans. I’m not saying they are bad, I’m just saying I didn’t care for them. They tasted like Boston Baked Beans without the sugar – and I refuse to put sugar in my beans. Maybe my taste buds were expecting the usual bean flavor I make; or maybe I trigger a childhood memory of having to sit at the table until I finished my baked beans. I know have that similar response to scalloped potatoes. People tell me they are delicious – I wouldn’t know; I just can’t eat them. These beans didn’t trigger that scalloped potato reaction; they were okay, just not my cup of tea.
But, don’t hesitate from cooking these beans just because I didn’t like them.