Cranberry Beans Stew

The Kitchen Doesn't Bite

 45 Minutes   2-4 people

By

On a trip to La Rioja, Spain, I discovered the “pochas” of Logroño, which turned out to be nothing more than the enchanting cranberry o borlotti beans, which I find fresh in Florida when they are in season. I tasted the best recipe for this beautiful and tasty heirloom bean in Ezcarray, from the hands of the mother of my good friend and great chef Francis Paniego. 

Then I went back home thinking about those memorable beans and my grandma's version, and came up with this recipe. You can adapt it to the ingredients you find in your country. I’ve tried it many times with “pimiento choricero” and the “guindilla” typical of the area.  If you don’t find the cranberry beans, use “mayacoba”, “canelini” or pinto beans. If you don’t find the Spanish sausage, you can substitute it for a “chorizo mexicano” and the “pimentón” can be replaced with “achiote”. If you want some spice in your recipe you can add dry “guindilla” or fresh “serrano”.  You can also add lamb, pork or smoked ham. Basically... no excuses! Let’s make a great “guiso de habichuelas”.

What you need to have:

  • 1 pound of fresh cranberry beans
  • 1 small Spanish chorizo (chorizo casero), casings removed and sliced
  • 1 small piece of “tocino salado” (salted lard) or pancetta, just to add flavor
  • 2 pear tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 white onion, ½ whole, ½ chopped
  • 1 “cubanelle” pepper (or green bell pepper), chopped
  • 5 fresh garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pimentón (sweet spanish paprika)
  • 3 piquillo peppers from can or jar (or “morrones”), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt to taste</li>
  • Fresh parsley for decoration (optional)

What you need to do:

  1. In a pot add three cups of cold water, the “pochas”, the pepper (without head or seeds), ½ of the entire onion, 2 whole garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt to taste. Let boil for 20 min at med-high temperature.
  2. In a separate pan add one tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the “tocino” or pancetta. Once it’s golden and crunchy add the diced garlic and sauté for one minute. Then add the chopped onion into small pieces and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Now add the tomato and sauté for another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Finally add the sausage, “pimentón” and piquillo peppers. Sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  5. With a spoon remove from the pot all particles that may have accumulated from the beans. Then add the entire tomato and sausage mix directly to the pot.
  6. Cook for 15-20 min making sure that the beans don’t overcook.
  7. Serve and decorate with the fresh parsley.

A good Tempranillo from La Rioja and cheers, buen provecho...!

Doreen Colondres - Celebrity Chef - Sommelier latina - best latin chef

Doreen Colondres

Corporate and celebrity chef, best seller cookbook author and food and wine editor.

Doreen Colondres is a graduated chef and certified wine connoisseur. Cookbook author of “La Cocina No Muerde”. A tireless traveler, food and wine editor, food and wine ambassador, educator and consultant. She is internationally recognized for encouraging people to enjoy the time with spend in the kitchen. Her mission is to convince us that cooking is a heritage and a fun tradition that is relaxing, easy, romantic, but more importantly, healthy.

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