My plans for the day were cancelled at the last minute, and the weather was dreary, so I was looking forward to a lazy Sunday at home. I happened to run across the November 2008 issue of Food & Wine magazine at the gym. They had a nice article about Rancho Gordo, which reminded me that I had a package of Santa Maria pinquito beans in the cupboard. Since I had the afternoon free to cook, it seemed like the perfect time to try them out.
I soaked the beans for a few hours. According to the Rancho Gordo website, it isn’t necessary, but it does speed up the cooking process. They absorbed a lot of water!
I started with Hatch chile butter from Whole Foods for the mirepoix (yes, that means there were carrots in my chili). I used 1/2 sweet onions and 1/2 shallots (leftover from CSA). I added the beans, along with the water that they were soaking in, and I added water until the beans were completely submerged.
While the beans were simmering, I smoked the steak tips. I started with a dry rub which has… a little bit of everything. It’s the same dry rub that I used when I made brisket. 1.5 lbs of sirloin tips barely fits into the smoker – I’m glad that I have the larger smoker!
And while the beans were simmering, and the tips were smoking, I made jalapeno cornbread with buttermilk.
After the beans were cooked through, I added spices and tomatoes (a few fresh and one can of peeled whole tomatoes). As the skin peeled off of the fresh tomatoes I removed the skins. When the tips were finished smoking I chopped them up and added that to the mix.
The final product:
It was definitely much better than my usual quick-and-easy chili (ground beef and canned kidney beans). The texture of the beans was great, and the smoky flavor permeated throughout the chili, so it was well worth the time.