Aren’t these beans beautiful? I fell in love with their beautiful color and pattern and thought I would give them a try. Anasazi beans are an heirloom variety bean that maintains great texture and flavor throughout some long cooking times. Sadly, they don’t keep their lovely color when cooked, but their flavor made up for it.
Beans are pretty miraculous as a food product. In addition to being chock full of protein, they are low in fat, high in fiber, and incredibly affordable. Cooking a big pot of beans also makes the most of a small amount of meat. I used locally produced, smoked bacon from pasture-raised hogs when cooking these beans. Totally yum. And I caramelized one onion in the bacon grease. Even more yum.
I don’t know why I haven’t made beans more in the past. They are so good and so filling. All it took was a pretty little bean to get my attention!
You could easily eliminate the bacon and caramelize the onions in olive oil for a vegan dish.
Anasazi Beans with Bacon and Caramelized Onions (makes about 8 servings)
- 1 lb. dried Anasazi beans or other organic, non-GMO bean
- 4 strips pasture-raised, pasture fed, smoked bacon
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced thin
- 1 cup cooked rice per person (optional)
- Rinse beans well and soak in water to cover + 3″ overnight.
- Drain beans and set aside.
- In a saute pan, cook bacon until barely crisp. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve 2 Tbsp. of bacon fat in the pan.
- Heat the pan to medium and add the sliced onions. Cook over medium for about 45 minutes or until caramelized.
- Add bacon, onions and beans to the bowl of a slow cooker. Add water to cover + 2″. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until beans are tender. Serve in bowls as-is or serve over rice.
HINT: If you have the time, cook these beans and then store in the refrigerator for 24 hours. They are best when reheated.