Santa Maria Pinquito Beans

Slow Cooked Santa Maria Pinquito Beans

As far as Santa Maria barbecue history goes, pinquito beans have been here from the beginning. 

Believed to be native to the area, they have been served alongside juicy tri-tip since the 1800s. This makes them really indispensable to getting that Santa Maria feel, even more so than other side dishes almost always associated with this style of barbecue – like spicy tomato salsa, a fresh green salad and toasted bread to sop all of the amazing flavors up. As such, it really deserves a place of pride at your table next time you have a Central Coast-style barbecue.

This side delivers all the flavors you want in a BBQ side dish: Sweet, savory and a touch of heat. Oh, and did we mention there’s bacon?

Synonymous with Santa Maria Style BBQ Tri Tip, but terrific with any grilled meat. 

Cooking Instructions

Step 1:

Pick through the beans and taking out anything foreign objects, such as pebbles, and then rinse them in cold water. After that is done, get them ready for some overnight soaking by placing them in a pot and covering them in cold water.

Step 2:

When you are ready to cook them, drain them and rinse, and then put them back in a pot with 4 cups of water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, carrot, onion and celery. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Then cover and cook for one hour, or until the beans are tender. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and allow the beans to cool down. Once cool, remove and discard the carrot, onion and celery.

Step 3:

Saute the bacon in the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat, until the bacon is golden brown. Then add in the diced red onion and cook them for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the garlic and saute for 2 minutes more.

Step 4:

Add in the tomato purée, brown sugar, dry mustard and Tabasco sauce. Then, add in the add the beans, 2 cups of the bean-cooking liquid, and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and cook for 30 minutes at a low simmer. Your beans should look like this:

Slow Cooked Santa Maria Pinquito Beans

Courtesy Cambria Winery culinary team | Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Rancho Gordo dried heirloom Santa Maria pinquito beans
  • 10 cups water, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 ounces tomato purée
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Directions:

  1. Pick through the beans and remove any foreign matter. Rinse with cold water. Place the beans in a large bowl, cover with 6 cups of water and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Drain the beans and rinse. Place the beans in a pot with 4 cups of water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, carrot, onion and celery. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 1 hour or until the beans are tender. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, then allow the beans to cool in the liquid. Once cool, remove and discard the carrot, onion and celery.
  3. In a large pot set over medium heat, add bacon and remaining olive oil. Cook until bacon is golden brown. Add the red onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the tomato purée, brown sugar, dry mustard and Tabasco sauce. Next, add the reserved beans, 2 cups of the bean-cooking liquid, 2 teaspoons kosher salt and cook for 30 minutes at a low simmer. The beans can be refrigerated for up to one week.

Pair with a glass of Cambria Benchbreak Pinot Noir, a warm spring day and friends. 

Cheers to grilling season. Now complete the meal with our Grilled Santa Maria Valley-style Tri-Tip recipe!