Sunday, December 11, 2011



If you haven’t tried any of the Rancho Gordo Heirloom beans you are missing an enormous treat.  If you can’t find them in a store in your area you can order them online at  With most of the Rancho Gordo beans we have tried you don’t need to do anything fancy.  According to Steve Santo, Rancho Gordo’s owner, soak them for 4 to 7 hours then cook them on the stove top mixed with chopped onion, chopped garlic and a little olive oil then covered with the soaking water.  Yummy, but Elizabeth wanted more ergo the baked beans, and they are delicious.

1 pound Rancho Gordo Yellow Eye beans or Great Northern beans
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 slices thick-cut Applewood smoked bacon, coarsely chopped
¾  to 1 cup unsulfured molasses
2 tablespoons heaping, packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Pinch ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
3 teaspoons dry mustard powder
¼ cup dark rum (optional)
Pinch of sea salt, preferably Maldon

Pick through the beans discarding any debris or discolored beans, cover them with water, about 2 inches over the top of the beans and let them soak for 5 to 7 hours.  The Rancho Gordo beans do not need to soak overnight like the dried beans from the supermarket. Drain the beans, reserving the soaking water if desired.

Put the drained beans in a bean pot or baking pot large enough to hold them plus enough water to cover by about 2 inches.  Add all the ingredients and mix together pouring the soaking water over all.  If you prefer you can discard the soaking water and use fresh water.  Cover the pot and put in a cold oven set at 400°F.  Cook for 3 hours checking once or twice to insure the beans are still covered with water.  Reduce heat to 375°F and again check to make sure the beans are still covered with liquid.  Remove cover and continue to cook for 1 to 2 hours until beans are soft and creamy and a nice crust has set.  You don’t want the beans to dry out so add more water if necessary to keep them moist.

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