1 lb dry Mayocoba beans
5 cups water
1 T olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t cumin
1 t Mexican oregano
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/4 t annatto
1 bay leaf
1 t chicken base
1 t olive oil
1 lb smoked sausage, cut into pieces
Additional water if needed
Optional: 1 large jalapeno stem shortened, but left intact, or 2 tablespoons chopped Hatch peppers (hot or mild), or 2 serrano peppers, chopped
Garnish: Tabasco sauce, chopped cilantro
Mexican oregano is not at all like Mediterranean oregano and the latter should not be subbed in or the flavors will be way off. Mexican oregano should be easy to find as McCormick’s makes it! It is useful in any Tex-Mex or Mex dish. You may find that you use it a lot.
To presoak overnight, sort, look for little stones and such, and rinse the beans well. Add them to the crockpot, covering them with the water. Stir in the morning and, if necessary, add enough water to just cover the beans. About 7 hours before dinner, set the pot to low.
In a small bowl, combine the 1 t Cumin, 1 t Mexican oregano, 1/4 t black pepper, 1/4 t annatto, and bay leaf. Set aside.
Three hours into the bean cooking, sauté sweet onion and green pepper in the olive oil over medium heat until the veggies soften. Add the garlic, stir one minute. If you are using serrano peppers or Hatch peppers, add them to the pan and cook for one minute. Stir in the seasonings, heat for one minute. Quickly pour the veggies into the pot and recover. Wipe the pan clean, add a little bit of olive oil, and return it to medium-high heat. Add slices of smoked sausage and stir it all up until things are hot and the sausage begins to brown.
Add the sausage and the chicken base to the pot, stir, and recover.
You may need to add a little hot water, but it should be fine. If you do make sure the water is hot and put in just enough to barely cover the beans – you are making stew not soup. You want it to be able to sit nicely on rice while on a plate with some juices.
Continue to cook on low 4 more hours until the beans are soft.
If using, add the jalapeno top side up into the middle of the beans about 15-20 minutes before dinner. It’ll float right side up and adds deliciousness to the stew without all the heat. People who want heat can slice and share the jalapeno at dinner.
This is also a great time to cook your favorite rice (I love converted rice with this). Leave the rice pot covered while you set the table.
Slice the jalapeno and place the cayenne and cilantro on the table for guests to use as they wish.