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.

One thought on “chili

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