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Anasazi Beans

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 17 April 2010 at 01:42
i opened up a box from john just this morning, and found a great big bag of these wonderful beans.
 
 
 
he also had this to say about them:
 
Quote The Anasazi people were cliff dwellers who grew corn, beans, and squash. They farmed in the Four Corners area of the United States until they disappeared around 1300 A.D.
 
The delicious kidney-shaped beans that they grew have survived through the centuries and now are often used in homes and restaurants in place of pinto beans. Anasazi beans are popular because they are sweeter than pinto beans, are easier on the digestive system, and they cook faster.
 
The beans can be used by themselves as a simple pot of beans, as refried beans, or in soups and stews. They can be used as a base for chalupas, in taco salads, on nachos, or any of the other popular Mexican dishes that call for pinto beans.
 
Beans have played an important historic role in Native American cuisine in the South because they are an important source of protein and other nutrients. Beans also enrich the soil they are grown in, and they are commonly grown in tandem with crops such as corn. Under extensive cultivation, beans and corn are literally grown side by side, with the beans using the corn as a trellis to grow on. After being harvested, the beans are dried for use throughout the year.
 
Found some beautiful Anazazi beans this weekend. Never tried them before, so I thought I'd give them a shot for some crockery cooking for next week's lunches. Very pretty looking things, like a holstein cow, except red instead of black.
 
i'll be trying these for my aztec feast on saturday!
 
to start with, i put a pound-and-a-half of the beans in cold water to soak overnight:
 
 
my plan for tomorrow is to simmer them in the crock pot on low while i barbecue the pork. i will season the pot with chopped onion, garlic,  red and orange bell peppers, diced tomatoes and an assortment of herbs and spices, including oregano, cumin, salt, pepper and something i found called sazon goya. i will also be adding some pork in the form of diced bacon.
 
i am open to suggestions, so if anyone has any ideas, feel free to throw them at me. i'll certainly consider them and may use them! for the sake of mrs. tas, the goal is to keep them from being too spicy, but full of flavour. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 April 2010 at 12:13
alright, preparation for these beans was easier than it looks ~ i've got a few step-by-step photos here:
 
first, i rinsed the beans and put them in the crock pot:
 
 
then, i added a few herbs and spices. i am kind of flying blind here, but i used modest amounts of things that seemed to make sense:
 
  • 1 tbsp of sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp mexican oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin

i also added 2 seasoning packets of sazon goya, something i picked up for a ridiculously low price at the wal-mart in great falls. it is a blend of seasonings featuring coriander and annato seed as well as a few others. here, you can see the beautiful, rich red colour of the seasoning.

 
i did the "fingertip test" on this stuff and it is loaded with flavours! strongly recommended!
 
next, i added 4 small bay leaves:
 
 
as well as two small onions and four cloves of garlic, both roughly chopped:
 
 
next, i added two cups each of beef and vegetable broth, as well as a quart of homemade chicken stock. these are some great flavours, plus, i've always heard that in the absence of pork broth, a good substitute is beef and chicken broth combined.
 
things were starting to look good:
 
 
but we've got two more additions. the first is some diced bacon that has been cooked a bit. this will add flavour as well as a little bit of fat to the party:
 
 
finally, we added a 28-oz can of diced tomatoes. if i would have had good, fresh tomatoes, i would have used them, but considering the season, this was a good alternative.
 
 
i considered adding the other half of the chiles that i soaked last night, but decided against it since i did add chili powder; also, anyone who wants to add a little spice to their beans can still add them after cooking. they aren't going anywhere!
 
the crockpot is on high right now and will remain so for 4 or 5 hours while the aztec-style pork cooks on the smoker. we'll keep an eye on the beas and add water if needed; i will also probably turn the crock pot down to low after a certain point, which will be determined by a couple of judicious taste tests. i am looking for a rich, thick broth to go with tender, tasty beans!
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 April 2010 at 16:17
well, after several hours of smelling these beans as they simmered, i must say that the final results were worth the wait! after about 6 hours in the crock pot, they were tender, flavourful and very, very good. they had soaked up most of the water, but there was some left, so i thickened it a bit with some flour/water.
 
here's a plated pic of our aztec feast featuring the anasazi beans:
 
 
the sauce and flavours were tasty as can be and i think i hit it very close to the mark with the above herbs and spices. the only real criticism was that the dish was a little salty, (whcih can be good or bad depending on one's taste), so i would probably omit the tablespoon of salt when making these next time. other than that, the beans tasted wonderful and as rivet said, "beanier" than normal pinto beans. these surely must be the "ur-bean" of the region, in that others must have descended from them. i don't know for sure, but the intense flavour would make it seem so to me.
 
as is usually the case, these beans were even better the next day! i spooned some onto a tortilla with some leftover pork and used the broth as a sauce for the "carnita." good grief, it was good!
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 April 2010 at 04:21
Well, what a wonderful feast! You sure made them beans look good and those tacos sure make the plate the hit of the party...well done, Ron Thumbs Up I liked the idea of adding crushed tomatoes to the beans, that was ssomething I didn't think about but definitely in keeping with the historical cooking theme. See you made the pickled mayan onions too, add very nice color to the plate~ how'd the family like them? In all, you made an excellent example of what simple ingredients and slow cooking can do for a meal. Congratulations!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 March 2011 at 15:04
not to drag up my own work from the past, but i have to re-iterate once again that these were very good. the family seemed to like them and i am thinking hard about doing them again for the first BBQ of the eyar, which ahs to happen sooner or later in spite of the weather.
 
thinking back, the only thing i would change would be to not add any salt. the seasonings used plus the tomatoes add plenty. plus, i would probably sqaute the onions and garlic just a bit with the bacon for some carmelization and flavour, maybe even add the tomatoes to the bacon, onion and garlic and saute/simmer for a few minutes in order to make a soffrito before adding to the pot.
 
other than that, this recipe was golden!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 March 2013 at 13:43
Tas,

This variety of legume looks lovely that you had prepared ... Interesting indigenious history too ... 

When you speak of the " 4 corners of the USA ", are you referring to: Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah ? ( Grand Canyon region ) 

Thanks for posting.
Margaux. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 March 2013 at 13:45
Hi, Margi -
 
These were very good - the only thing I would do differently is reduce the salt and I would NOT add a flour/water slurrry to thicken - I would let it reduce naturally or mash a few beans to thicken.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 March 2013 at 13:48
Tas,

Thank you.

I always mash approximately 6  tblsps. of my simmered beans for 2 1/2 hours approx. and  prior to the finishing ... It thickens the sauce real nicely ... 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Muleskinner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 September 2013 at 15:23
I need to find these beans.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 September 2013 at 22:54
They're readily available, Muleskinner. Hell, if I can find them in central Kentucky they can't be all that hard to find.  Maybe not in the supermarket, of course. But if you have a health-food grocery they should carry them; or be able to get them. 

If not, check on-line. 

Physically, btw, they are exactly the same as Jacob's Cattle (aka Trout) beans. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 September 2013 at 09:35
http://www.amazon.com/North-Bay-Trading-Co-Anasazi/dp/B00AOBH8RI/ref=sr_1_8?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1380555288&sr=1-8&keywords=anasazi+beans
 
I little expensive, but this was the ebst deal I could find on Amazon.com doing a quick search. If you can get them from a farmer or market locally, you would probably save a lot of money.
 
In any case, they are indeed good, and some of them can be saved to grow in your garden next year.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Olyeller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2018 at 16:18
These have become my favorite bean, nudging out pintos. Very tender and velvety smooth.

I order or pick them up here:

https://www.anasazibeans.com/

Great folks here ready to accommodate you and your order.
Let your light shine
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 February 2018 at 08:48
I like them quite a bit, too - this was a good way to cook them, but of course the possibilities are endless!
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