So I'm makin' a big ol' mess of beans tonight. Suggestions?

There were fresh October beans at the farmers’ market this weekend so I bought two pounds. I also bought bacon and three nice, meaty smoked neckbone portions.

Here’s how I usually prepare them. In a big, heavy-bottomed pot I render the fat from about one strip of bacon. I then cook one shallot and one clove of garlic in the bacon fat for no more than five minutes. I then add the beans, cover them with water, add the smoked neckbone portions, add some freshly ground pepper cover and simmer until tender. Once they’re tender, I add salt to taste and simmer a tad more.

Of course I will have had a pot of white rice finished by the time the October beans are done. I’ll take out the neckbones and strip some of the meat from them and add them and the meat back in the pot.

Serve over rice and enjoy.

Is there anything else I could try? My beans get rave reviews from the boys but I’m willing to listen to other suggestions.

Sounds good…but why are you stinting on the onion? Shallot, my eye…I’d give it a good-sized onion, chopped. Melts right down into the gravy.

Using chicken or vegetable stock instead of water will give you a richer final dish, neckbones nonwithstanding.

Sounds like the kind of beans that would be tastier with cornbread than with rice, too.

– Uke, the Backseat Cook

I knew you’d post :slight_smile:

Ok, I’ve got a parmalat-thingy (carton, maybe?) of chicken stock. I’ll use it in addition to the water. I’ll also use two shallots but I’ll be using the food processor to mince them, then. My eyes can’t take it.

How ‘bout cornbread and rice. MMMMMMmmmmmmm, that’s good eatin’!

What are “October beans”? Like, fresh shell beans as opposed to dried beans?

“So I’m makin’ a big ol’ mess of beans tonight. Suggestions?”

Open some windows and dont light anything.

Oh yea, impart the wisdom of “pull my finger” on the unintiated young’uns.

Hmph. If beans give you gas, it only means you’re NOT EATING ENOUGH BEANS. Eat more beans and your body will adjust!

Juanita: Yeah, I knew I’d post too. “Will you have some beans?..They’re my only weakness…”

I make a Spanish style beans’n’rice dish, along the lines of a vegetable paella.

Cook the beans and a bay leaf in chicken stock until just tender but not soft. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.

Saute onions, minced garlic, bell peppers and chopped ham in olive oil. Add chopped tomatoes (or canned w/some liquid), paprika. Add rice (pref. arborio) and stir to coat rice with liquid. Then add some white wine, the cooking liquid from the beans and enough add’l chicken stock for correct rice-to-liquid proportions. Add seasonings of choice (salt & pepper; thyme, rosemary, or saffron if you want to get fancy). Stir in the beans and cook until the rice is done.

I often add corn, peas and/or cubed zucchini or eggplant about ten minutes before everything’s done.

The basic recipe sounds really good, but in addition to the estimable Uke’s suggestion of the onion, I’d add some bay leaf to the cooking liquid and garnish with either chopped scallion or chiffonaded parsley.

Instead of bay leaf (or hell, in addition to) I usually add some epazote de comer, wich adds a certain something and makes the effervescent effect less.

Yesterday I made Jamaican rice and peas, starting with small red beans, soaked overnight. Into the crockpot went the beans, a chopped yellow onion, a tablespoon of chopped garlic, three small branches of thyme, and a chopped scotch bonnet pepper. A small amount of mirepoix , two bay leaves, and some reduced chicken stock, salt and pepper to taste, and simmer on low for five hours.

When these were done and thhe liquid reduced, I broke out the rice cooker and made long-grain rice using coconut milk for the liquid. Rice and beans mixed together, garnish with green onions and Inner Beauty Hot Sauce. Served with homemade coco bread and Brazilian collards. And there’s plenty of leftovers, too.

The beans turned out really well.

I used smoked turkey necks instead of pork. Although I remembered to use more shallots (I used two), I completely forgot about the chicken stock!

pugluvr, October beans are just another type of bean.

Thanks, Uke, for the cornbread suggestion. It really made the meal heartier.

Funny thing is, I was just so happy to see fresh beans that weren’t lima at the farmers’ market, I forgot that I’m really not all that crazy about October beans. I much prefer crowder peas or blackeye peas.

I was reading through your post and thought you said “I also bought bacon and three mice”. “Eek”

I’m a pretty simple cook but a mess of mild jalapenos in a pot of pintos sure adds a nice flavor. You can even add them to the cornbread too if you’re so inclined.

I’ve got to try that sometime…there’s smoked turkey wings at the supermarket, just waiting to be thrown into the beanpot.

I always just figured you’re not using more than a fistful of neckbones or a hock anyway, so how bad could the pork BE for you?

My standard procedure for pinto, black-eyed peas, or butterbeans is to cook them with a piece of smoked pork, chicken stock, as much chopped onion as you can stand, and a hefty dose of crushed red pepper (or a tablespoon of Chachere’s Cajun seasoning, but wait on that until the beans are tender or the salt content will toughen them up). These are the beans I serve with skillet cornbread.

N’Awlins red beans and rice, though, that’s a whole different thing. LOTS more stuff in THOSE beans, along the lines of **False_God’**s peas-and-rice recipe.

My aunt taught me this trick: For black-eyed peas, or pintos, kidneys, navys, butterbeans, you name it, if the beans seem too soupy, take about a half-cup of the cooked beans and mash them into a paste. Add the bean paste back to the pot - it thickens things up nicely.

Awright, I see Uke has thrown the RBAR hat into the ring, so I might as well share my version.

Start with your small red beans. Some people use kidneys, some insist that kidneys are the way to go, but some people take up serpents, too. I feel that the small red beans have a better texture and flavor.

If you’re starting with dried beans, soak overnight in cool water, changing once. If you don’t have overnight, soak them in boiling water for two hours in a bowl.

In a beanpot or cast-iron stewpot, start the “stuff”. This is going to be Trinity ( celery, green bell pepper and onion chopped), bay leaves, garlic, and sausage. Andouille sausage is the only way to go for the real deal, and you don’t need a lot here-about one good-sized one for four people. Smoked sausage is nice, but not quite right. Chop the sausage, brown it off. Add two-three cups of Trinity, the garlic, the bay leaf, and cook until the vegetables are slightly browned and translucent. At this point, add thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Some folks throw in cayenne here–I let people adjust the heat at the table with Crystal or Tabasco.

Add your pickled pork, if you use it. (To make this, take some fatty pork, soak overnight in vinegar, water, salt, sugar, allspice and peppercorns.) Ideally, brown it off first, but you can just throw it in.

Stir everyting up nice, then add the soaked beans, cover with chicken stock or pork stock, and let the beans get done through.

Once the beans are about twenty minutes away from being done, make a pot of white long-grain rice. Serve the beans over the rice, or pack a teacup with rice, invert it in the middle of the plate, and spoon the RBAR around it. Mix the leftovers together.

The reason I used turkey instead of pork this time, Uke, was because I was sharing my beans with a Jewish coworker.

Other than that, I almost always use pork.

Try flavoring with beer, cumin, powdered cloves, and cinnamon.

If anyone can get me the recipe for Anna Mia’s (tex mex restaurants in Texas) bean soup, I will forever be in your debt.

GOD that is good eatin