Easy Gaucho Beans
- Ready In:
- 2 lb dried red kidney beans, picked over and rinsed or (15 ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon baking soda, divided (only if using the dried beans)
- 4 bacon, strips raw, chopped
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 8 scallions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
- 4 medium tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped
- 3 large carrots, grated
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- If using the dried beans, soak them in cold water overnight with 1/2 t of baking soda. The following day, drain the beans and place them in a larg pot with the bacon, another 1/2 t of baking soda and 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook the beans until they are soft - about 2 hours. If the water level drops too low before the beans are tender, add another cup of water (or more as needed). If using canned beans, just warm them in a large pot with 3 1/2 C of water. Drain.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring often, until the veggies are soft and fragrant - about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the veggie mixture to the pot with the beans and cook just long enough to bring the flavors together, about 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
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We expected to love these Gaucho beans. Somehow the carrots and tomatoes overwhelmed the 2 cans of kidney beans, and we missed the magical bean starch. For our taste preference, I would scale back on the carrots and tomatoes to a supporting role instead of a starring role. I think this dish would be a great way to get kids to eat veggies.
We enjoyed these beans very much. Loved the addition of the veggies. I soaked the beans overnight and cooked them until tender. I was a little concerned as to whether or not the beans would absorb the late addition of the salt and flavorings, but they did. I did add additional salt and cumin to our taste.
We had these beans over the holiday weekend and enjoyed them more then canned baked beans. I used half of a large red onion and turkey bacon since that is what we prefer. Brought the beans to a boil and then turned them down low so they could simmer slowly. Kept an eye on the vegetables so they didnt get mushy then served with grilled brats and hamburgers. Like that the beans were not spicy and had a homemade flavor. Made and reviewed for the Culinary Quest 2017 - Central America.
I adapted the recipe to prepare in the crockpot. I soaked the beans overnight as directed and then cooked on high about 5 hours. I then added the raw chopped veggies and seasonings and let the crockpot work it's magic. At the end I had tender and tasty beans. The flavor was mild, not spicy. While nothing like ranch style or chili beans, these will be an excellent base for other soups or bean dishes. I would make these again!