This post originally appeared on my other blog: www.imhereforthebbq.com.
If you’ve never had Santa Maria style pinquito beans, you owe it to yourself to give them a try at least once in your life. Pinquito beans are small pink beans that look somewhat like stunted pinto beans.
The flavor profile is similar to pinto beans and they could be used interchangeably. However, if you are throwing down an authentic Santa Maria barbecue, you are obligated to use these tiny treasures. They make an excellent compliment to Santa Maria Tri-tip.
It can be tricky to find these little guys in the grocery store. I order mine online from either Rancho Gordo or Susie Q’s. Both brands are excellent, but I’d probably skip the pre-packaged seasoning offered by Susie Q’s.
Santa Maria pinquito beans are similar to your standard BBQ beans, but with a smoky-spicy profile — think TexMex flavors. Every recipe I’ve seen includes bacon, ham, tomatoes, and onions. After that, the choice of spices or other additions are up to you. I like to include fire-roasted poblano peppers in mine for little extra pizazz.
For the complete Santa Maria experience, prepare these beans over red-oak coals in a cast iron skillet. However, I often make them on the stove-top with very successful results.Print
These smoky beans with a slight kick are the perfect compliment to that Santa Maria Tri-tip you are going to cook up this weekend.
- 1 cup dry pinquito beans, soaked overnight and drained (see note)
- 1/4 cup medium dice ham (see note)
- 2 slices bacon, diced
- 1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped
- 1 roasted poblano pepper, stem & seeds removed and diced (see note)
- 1/2 cup tomato puree (see note)
- 2 Tablespoons ketchup
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pimentón (aka smoked paprika)
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1.5 teaspoons dark brown sugar
- Hot sauce to taste
- kosher salt & pepper
- Place the beans in a medium saucepan and cover with 2 inches of lightly salted water. Bring beans to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to a bare simmer and cook until the beans are tender and creamy inside. Stir occasionally for even cooking. About 45 mins to 1 hour.
- While the beans are cooking you can prep the other ingredients.
- Place the bacon and ham in a large skillet or cast iron pan and cook over medium-low heat until bacon is rendered and crisp.
- Add the onions to the pan and saute over medium heat until softened but not browned.
- Add spices, sugar, and poblano pepper, stirring to incorporate well. Let the spices toast for about 30 seconds, turning down the heat if necessary so they don’t burn.
- Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato puree, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine, scraping up any browned bits in the bottom of the pan.
- Drain the cooked beans, reserving the liquid.
- Add the beans to the pan along with about 1 cup of the bean cooking liquid and a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook until all the flavors have combined and the raw tomato taste has mellowed. About 10 minutes.
- Adjust flavor to taste with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, and hot sauce.
- Soak dry beans overnight, or for at least 8 hours, covered with at least 2 inches of well salted water.
- Medium dice is 1/2 inch cubes.
- Roasting peppers is easier than it may sound and it imparts an incredible smoky complexity to the pepper. Simply char them on the outside until completely black, put in a contain or bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 20 minutes to steam. The skin of the pepper can then be easily scraped off with a paper towel.
- I like to puree my own whole canned tomatoes rather than buying already pureed tomatoes. This is easy to do with a blender, stick-blender, or food mill. If you’d like a chunkier texture, a food processor is fine too.
Keywords: pinquito, beans, bbq beans