Thursday, November 5, 2020

Cowboy Beans @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: This recipe is based on one by Elise Bauer in Simply Recipes, and I promise it is simply delicious. Over this past year, I’ve become obsessed with Rancho Gordo beans. Love the beans themselves, and love the company. Here’s a snippet from a recent newsletter:

This pandemic feels like a relay race and if that means that every once in a while, you need to break down and freak out, that's fine. We can carry the baton for each other while we lose it, gather strength, and then carry on. The world seems out of control, but we can control our kitchens and the good things that come out of them. That's something.

-Steve Sando...

Isn’t that a wonderful way to put things? And here are the beans…I used yellow eyes from Rancho Gordo...


2 cups dried yellow eye beans (about 12 ounces)
2 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil 
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
5 minced garlic cloves
2 cups water
2 cups black coffee

Soak the beans overnight. Saute the onion and garlic with the oil for a couple minutes. Drain the beans and add them back to the pot with the water, coffee, and sautéed veggies. Bring to a simmer and cook 1 to 2 hours until soft. (I test my beans by fishing one out with a spoon and blowing on it. If the skin moves, the beans are done.)

For the BBQ sauce:

2 cups tomato sauce or ketchup
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp chipotle powder (optional)
4 finely chopped garlic cloves
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Cayenne to taste

Saute the garlic and onion in the melted butter for a few minutes. Add the spices, followed by ketchup, vinegar, and sugar. Simmer on low at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Once the beans are soft, add 1 and 1/2 cups BBQ sauce and simmer another one to two hours. 

These beans are good with anything from toasted cheese to steak or simply on their own. You can add grated cheese or chopped onion or chopped pickled jalapeños to taste. 

Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mystery series, featuring fiesty food critic Hayley Snow. Number 10, THE KEY LIME CRIME, is in stores and online everywhere


  1. They sound fabulous. So you special order dry beans, Lucy?

  2. This sounds terrific! Just add some warm from the oven cornbread!

    Aren't beans great? I love to look at them--all the different shapes, colors, and sizes. It would be great to have a bunch in glass containers on a shelf to admire.

  3. Rancho Gordo is sold out of your bean variety

    1. Darn! they restock when they can. I like to get their newsletter so I know what's new...

      And the glass jars of beans sound lovely!