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johnnyd

Rancho Gordo in the NYT... again!!

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Indeed, I saw this yesterday, and my project for tomorrow is RG black bean soup.  But unless Steve comes on here and disputes otherwise I think delaying salt is horrible advice.

 

Even if Steve comes on here and disputes otherwise I think delaying salt is horrible advice.

 

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Depends on what you're after. I find the later you delay deploying salt, the more the beans remain front and center.

 

I make feijoada every six or so weeks which get a couple smoked ham hocks for three hours, so I'll get this nice emulsion. Salt isn't necessary but the beans rule the dish. Feijoada also calls for salted beef - when I've used it, the beans brake down too much, but in Brazil, that's the traditional way to serve it. Toasted cassava is served as a side to mix with your black bean 'sauce' to bring back body. 

 

So in this way, black beans are used more as a medium instead of a star player. I'd rather there were beans on the plate after a three, four hour simmer, so no more salted beef, the hocks seem to do what I want instead.

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Posted (edited)

Steve also has a full page ad in Culture magazine.  This is the magazine devoted to all things cheese so I was surprised to see his very beautiful ad in there.  He sure has come along way since he first appeared on eG.  Even though I'm not a bean eater I am always pulling for Rancho Gordo.  


Edited by Anna N (log)
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His ad was the first thing I saw when our copy of Culture came.  My husband calls it "bean porn."

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You've all made me very happy! 
The NYTimes was amazing. I got a call from the very talented Julia Moskin. I play a little game where I get the newsletter and see what they're covering and I try and guess who wrote the article/recipe based on the title. I'm normally pretty right! There's a Bittman-type recipe, a Florence Fabricant old school NY type recipe, etc. The Tanis ones are very easy to spot. You get your kicks where you can! 
So anyway, it was fun talking to her and she asked about this or that  and I thought I'd have a line in an article about Black Bean Soup. I couldn't believe how nice she was and how much ink she gave me! 
The recipe seems solid but it's not mine and everyone seems to think it is. I hope she doesn't mind. 

I don't! 

 

re salt, I salt when the pot starts smelling like beans. They aren't done in any sense but you know there's no turning back. I think you can salt earlier but I'm so cheap I don't want this to be the one time when it doesn't work. I like to salt as early as possible though  because I don't like salty broth and bland beans and it takes awhile to season the beans. 

 

The comments section is a little depressing. They go on and on about the necessity of "degassing" the beans by soaking them for an hour in hot water and then pouring off the soaking water. Not one, but many people think this. I think all it does is give you purple beans as you strip away any color. 

 

The funny thing is, after 15 years, I'm starting to think, "This thing is working!" 
I still can't relax but I'm letting the staff buy bulk supplies these days as we're in it for the long run, 
 

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10 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

As promised:  dinner of NY Times RG black bean soup.

 

Need to stress, this is Julia Moskin's recipe, not ours.
Hopefully the beans are ours!

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8 hours ago, rancho_gordo said:

 

Need to stress, this is Julia Moskin's recipe, not ours.
Hopefully the beans are ours!

 

Yes the beans are yours...well, they're mine now.

 

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Two weeks ago I was doing a private home cooking class teaching folks how to make meatballs and marinara sauce.  The host went into her pantry and come out with this bag of beans.  She asked me if I had ever heard of Rancho Gordo.  What a wonderful moment.  She had no clue I was a volunteer staff member at eGullet and didn't know the background of Rancho Gordo.  I told her the story and then she asked me if I had ever made cassoulet.  Then she asked me to do another private home cooking class on Cassoulet.  How lucky can I be?  She's ordering more of the cassoulet beans for our class and it will be wonderful to share the story with the other students.  I'm getting started on the duck confit for the cassoulet. 

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The cassoulet class was a great hit.  Everyone remarked how flavorful and creamy the beans were and they had no idea how easy it is to start with dried beans and end up with a wonderful cassoulet.

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I typically make duck confit for cassoulet, but at the class we had 17 folks so I substituted chicken hindquarters due to cost.  Turns out incredibly well with chicken. And I use pork lard rather than duck fat, again due to cost.  The confit doesn't suffer at all by using pork lard.  Takes time but isn't very difficult and the results are worth it.  I use the duck confit in cassoulet, but it's also good just seared in a skillet to brown and crisp the skin, then served with a salad.  The beans take some time and steps, but it's really worth the result.

 

Duck Confit-

4 duck hindquarters

1 tbsp. crushed juniper berries

1 tbsp. black peppercorns

3 bay leaves

3 sprigs rosemary

3 sprigs thyme

6 garlic cloves, crushed

Kosher salt

Pork lard

 

About a week before I make the cassoulet, I start on the confit.  Place the duck hindquarters in a glass baking dish and liberally sprinkle with Kosher salt.  Add the juniper berries, peppercorns, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme and garlic cloves.  Cover the dish and let the duck marinate in the refrigerator for two days.

 

Heat the oven to 275.  Remove the duck from the refrigerator and rinse off the salt and spices.  Heat enough pork lard in a heavy pot to cover the duck completely.  Cover the pot and place in the oven and let the duck cook for about 4 hours.  Remove, let cool to room temperature than cover and refrigerate.

 

To use the confit place the pot on the stovetop over low heat to melt the lard, then gently remove the duck to use in the confit.  At this stage you can just put the confit together, but I saute the confit, skin side down to brown and crisp the skin before putting it in the confit.

 

Cassoulet-

1 lb. dried cassoulet beans, (we used Rancho Gordo's French tarbais/cassoulet beans)

9 quarts cold water

 

2 cups beef stock

2 tbsp. tomato paste

6 cloves garlic, skinned and crushed

2 stalks celery, chopped

3 sprigs rosemary

3 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

4 sprigs parsley

1 tbsp. black peppercorns

1lb. smoke pork hock or neck bones

1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes

Duck confit

1lb. garlic sausage, cut into chunks

 

Soak the beans overnight in cold water.  The next day, drain the beans and place in a large stockpot and cook the beans over medium-low heat for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until they are soft.  At this point I add the beef stock, tomato paste, garlic, celery, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, parsley and black peppercorns and the pork hocks and crushed tomatoes and cook the beans for another 45 minutes over medium-low heat.  You'll have tender beans and an incredible cooking stock.

 

I heat the oven to 350 and start to assemble the cassoulet in a heavy Le Creuset pot.  Strain the beans out of the cooking stock and place a layer of the beans in the pot.  Now nestle in some of the sausage.  Then another layer of beans.  Place the duck confit on top of the beans, then ladle in enough of the bean cooking stock to cover the beans, yet not cover the duck confit.  Into the oven it goes, uncovered, to cook about 1 1/ 2 hours.  Take a look while it cooks and if necessary, add more stock.  You'll see that the duck confit skin will turn golden and start to crisp up.  I usually give the cassoulet about 2 1/2 hours.  It will develop that characteristic crust, (and you won't need to top it with breadcrumbs as some recipes suggest).

 

I wish I had a photo, but we devoured it very quickly.  It takes time and some cooking steps, but is incredibly delicious and worth the time.

 

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@David Ross -- Many thanks. I have tarbais beans from Rancho Gordo, and I have duck leg quarters in the freezer. My lone attempt at making cassoulet (by Paula Wolfert's recipe) met disaster when, after having chilled my confit (which I made with duck fat!) for a week or so, and gone through the first day's worth of steps for the cassoulet itself, I went to get the duck only to discover mold on the bottom. I started to scrape it off and use it anyway, but I was afraid we'd all die. I was mortally frustrated, and have not attempted confit since.

 

Perhaps it is time again.

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@David Ross Truly lovely dish.

 

So what do you do during a 1 and 1/2 hr bake in a cooking class? A movie?

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Well, you know, it's that old line we use, "now due to the magic of television, we already have a cassoulet ready".....

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