1 lb dried Anasazi beans
4 1/2 cups water
2 T olive oil
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 t New Mexican Chili Powder
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t Mexican oregano
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 pinch of either ground Guajillo or Cayenne pepper (optional)
12 oz smoked sausage, sliced
2 t chicken base
1 large jalapeno, cleaned, but left whole
Spoon Mage™ Note:
Anasazi beans are lovely deep red and white stippled, tasty, low gas, beans that remind me a little of pinto beans in texture. These pretty beans were grown by Anasazi Native Americans, and we are so lucky to be able to cook with them today. This is the brand that I prefer. If it is not in your grocers, you can buy them on-line. https://www.anasazibeans.com/beans.html
Use your favorite type of smoked sausage. I love Holmes’ brand and have made this with several of the types, usually pecan beef, garlic beef, or venison.
No worries if you cannot find New Mexican chili powder, just use your favorite blend. I prefer Gebhardt’s brand as it is useful in many dishes.
Chicken base is concentrated chicken stock. Often a tablespoon makes four cups or so of soup base. Here, we stick the undissolved base into the cooked beans.
That’s right – do not cut the jalapeno. It will be added whole near the end of cooking where it will slowly cook, adding flavor, but little heat to the beans. Anyone that wants the heat should top off their bowl of beans with slices of the cooked jalapeno.
The night before you will cook the beans, rinse them well in cool water. Sort through them for stones as rocks do not cook very well at all. Remember the things were grown and harvested right next to dirt and stones and may have developed some attachments. Pour the cleaned beans inside the slow cooker. Pour in five cups of water, cover the pot, and let the beans just sit there in their lovely long soak. Check them in the morning. There should not be much water left, only just enough to keep them covered. There is no need to rinse the beans or change the water.
Turn the slow cooker on low and cook for three hours, or just until they are soft but not mushy. Anasazi beans cook very quickly, rather like pinto beans.
Sauté the pepper in the olive oil over medium high until the skin starts to bubble up.
Add the onion, stirring until it softens, but does not brown.
To the cooking peppers and onions, add the New Mexican chili powder, garlic, Mexican oregano, black pepper, Guajillo if using, and sugar. Stir well for 1 minute.
Add the sausage and one tablespoon of water, stir. Cover the pan with a lid and steam for five minutes. Stir twice.
Pour it all into the crock of beans along with the chicken base. Stir well.
If the mixture is too thick and dry, heat a little water (this is important) and add it now.
Anasazi beans are another one of those terrific recipes that needs to be kept at the consistency of molten lava – it is not a soup.
Recover and continue cooking two more hours.
Now stick the rinsed whole jalapeno, stem side up, in the middle of the pot. It will not sink.
Recover and cook one more hour or until the beans are softened to your liking. If the beans finish before you plan to fix dinner, just keep it all on warm.
Remove the jalapeno, slice it up, and serve the beans and a side of Almost Navajo Flat Bread.