One of the things I bought for myself over the holidays were a whole bunch of beans from Rancho Gordo. They cultivate some amazing looking heirloom beans. Aside from the special XOXOC Project beans, I tried a pound of Good Mother Stallard beans.
I thought these were really cool because, sitting in the bowl, they looked like they comprised an entire galaxy speckled with lots of stars. The contrast of black and white is really uncanny.
The label urges to cook these beans with some basic aromatics, so I diced up some shallot and carrot, sauteed that in a little olive oil, and decided to use their slow cooker instructions.
I just gave the beans a good rinse, added them to the slow cooker, and added water (for every cup of beans, 3-4 cups of water).
It went on high for about 9 hours. (This is something that could be set before work and be ready after work.)
I was home while this was happening, but I refrained from peeking. After the 9 hours, I gave them a mix. The beans had softened and released enough starch to make the liquors very viscous. The colors also completely changed; they were much more brown and red after cooking.
According to the description on the website, they instruct “please prepare them simply and avoid the natural tendency to want to make them better by fussing about,” so I added some salt and pepper and enjoyed them as they were. [always add salt at the end when cooking beans.]
They’re very dense, have a thick and chewy exterior, and a creamy and hearty interior. They were so great. And, since I used half a pound of beans, I had a ton of leftovers. All they needed was a quick reheat in a microwave, and they were perfect all week long.
I’m really looking forward to getting into those XOXOC beans.