My cousins sent us a variety of heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo for Christmas, and it's been a lot of fun learning about new bean varieties and trying new recipes for dried beans. We started off with basic refried pinto beans, which were absolutely amazing (but not very photogenic!). Then we turned to these pinquito beans, which I had never tried before. They turned out to be fantastic - the beans themselves are smallish with a good texture (neither too mushy nor too crunchy) and excellent flavor. Although this recipe does have lots of differently flavors going on, you can definitely still taste the beans rather than only the sauce. Molasses, tomato paste, and onions add sweetness, while red pepper flakes add a bit of spice - feel free to adjust to your preference.
Bunkerlow-Style Pinquitos (adapted from Heirloom Beans: Great Recipes for Dips and Spreads, Soups and Stews, Salads and Salsas, and Much More from Rancho Gordo)
Serves 2-3 as a side
4 ounces pinquito beans
1/3 cup minced yellow onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp Mexican oregano, crumbled
1/8 tsp mustard powder
Pinch ground allspice
Pinch ground cloves
A few grinds fresh nutmeg
1 T tomato paste
1/2 tsp molasses
Generous pinch dried red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Soak the beans in water at least six hours or overnight.
2. Add water as needed to cover the beans by about an inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the beans start to soften, 45 minutes or so.
3. In a small skillet, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute a few minutes, until softened. Stir in all the spices and cook briefly, until fragrant.
4. Add the onion mixture, tomato paste, molasses, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to the beans. Cook until the beans are fully tender, 20-30 minutes.