Recipe: Basque-Style Garbanzo Beans
Hands on: About 20 minutes Total time: About 4 hours, 20 minutes Serves: 12
Santa Maria tri-tip barbecue traditionally includes pinquito beans, native to the area. But these savory Basque-style beans provide a perfect side dish.
1 pound dried garbanzo beans, cleaned and soaked in water overnight
A few hunks of Trader Joe’s uncured applewood-smoked bacon ends and pieces (or 5 strips of thick bacon, or 1 smoked turkey wing or a smoked ham hock)
4 large shallots, thinly sliced into rings
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (I like hot, but you can use sweet if you prefer.)
1 tablespoon dried, crushed oregano
4 or 5 whole bay leaves
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Water or stock
Place a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add the bacon or other smoked meat . If you’re not using bacon, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Stir the bacon around until it gets crispy. If you’re using the bacon hunks, ham hock or smoked turkey wing, stir them around in the hot oil for a couple of minutes to slightly brown the meat.
Lower the heat and add the shallots and bell pepper, stir until veggies are soft. Add a dab more olive oil if your pan is too dry.
Add the garlic, smoked paprika, oregano and bay leaves. Stir for a minute or so, but make sure not to burn your garlic.
Raise the heat to medium high and add the tomatoes, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any bits. Add a can of water or stock, letting the mixture bubble for a few minutes.
Add the sugar and Worcestershire sauce, and stir in the beans. Now, add 4 cans of water or stock.
Add about 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper. You can use more salt later when the beans are done and you taste for seasonings.
Bring the mixture to a boil, uncovered, then lower the heat to simmer. Cook covered on low for about 3 hours. Stir occasionally.
After about 3 hours, remove the lid, turn up the heat and let the garbanzos bubble lightly until much of the liquid has evaporated and thickened slightly.
Per serving: 144 calories (4 percent from fat), 9 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fiber, 1 gram fat (trace saturated fat), no cholesterol, 81 milligrams sodium.