Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Musical Fruit:

Mexican Bean Stew

I'm not sure if it's a "Mexican thing" or if it's just me but I can most assuredly tell you that I love beans. And I own it. I'm a card carrying bean fanatic. I could eat them most any day and not get tired of them. As such, I'm always on the lookout for a good bean recipe. As far as I'm concerned, you can't have too many bean recipes. 

I read recently that the pinto bean is one of New Mexico's official state vegetables along with the chile. That's a pretty killer combo if you ask me. The article went on to say that the Incas and Aztecs first began cultivating this bean over 5000 years ago. They made their way to Europe with the Spanish explorers in the 15th century who in turn, along with the Portuguese, traded them in Africa and Asia. This resulted in the Phaseolus Vulgaris, or "common bean" as they are referred to, being the most widely used bean today. 

But none of that matters really. What really matters is what they taste like rolled up in warm, homemade corn tortilla. With maybe a little cilantro, onion, hot pepper sauce, and a splash of lime. Oooh. They're actually cooking on stove top as I'm writing this and I'm starting to make myself hungry. Better stop that for now because they got a solid hour and a half to go. 

And, as luck would have it, my wife is not a fan of beans. This means that every bean I make, I eat. Mine!! All mine!!! If she were here, she'd tell me that this was my "only child syndrome" rearing its' ugly head. Only child syndrome or not...mine!!!!!

This recipe is really quite simple. Although it takes over two hours to make, you're only in the kitchen for maybe ten minutes. I swiped this recipe from the cooking show Mexican Made Easy. When I make food, I'm usually not too thrilled with the recipes I dig up so I'll take bits and pieces of several recipes and kinda create my own. This one, however, is pretty much right on the mark. The only thing I did differently is that I added veggie broth to the mix instead of straight water. 


3 cups dries pinto beans
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 white onion, diced
2 bay leaves
3 cup vegetable broth
water (to be determined)
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste 


Combine the beans, garlic, onion and bay leaves in a medium to large pot. Add veggie broth and about 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the beans are tender. About 2 hours or so. 

Every 20 minutes, check the beans. Stir them and add water as needed. About a cup at a time. When done, the beans should be somewhat soupy, similar to a chile or a thick stew.  

Ladle into a bowl and garnish with Mexican crema, cilantro and chopped white onions. Alternatively, you can drain them a bit and use them as a filling for soft tacos.

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