As you know, I like fresh beans when I can get them. Fortunately, the Scranton farmer’s market has a few farmers who grow borlotti/red coco beans or what they call cranberry beans to shell. These beans are quite a bit larger than the borlotti you find in France, about the size of kidney beans or maybe bigger. They look large 🙂
My mom would often make what she called chili beans, a heavily Texas Mexican influenced, savory pot of beans flavored with ham hocks. We loved these as much as the chili beans with beef. Depending on her mood, she would serve these with flour tortillas or thin, unsweetened cornbread. Cake like cornbread was not admired in our house! Thank you Jesus 😀
I was going to go out to the ex-Super Duper that is now a Foodtown (bleah) for ham hocks. Then I vaguely remember seeing several frozen chunks of leftover baked, smoked ham from some holiday meal I cooked. Frozen, it wasn’t very attractive but it thawed out nicely and we won’t even think about how old it is, why worry?
How could I have forgotten about this pot?! I looked up on the top shelf of the pantry this morning and it was staring down at me accusingly, and rightfully so! I apologized profusely and promised it a glamorous day on the stove.
Chopped onions, garlic, bell pepper and a ferocious green chilli. A routine I never get tired of.
The aromas from this pot assured me that this was going to be absolutely fabulous 😀 A wonderful rich, thick sauce made with canned diced tomatoes or better, if you have them, fresh tomatoes.
Nothing wrong with gilding the lily with a few toppings. Make America grate again!
“And when you smile for the camera, I know I’ll love you better.”
Fresh Borlotti Chili Beans
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green or red bell pepper, chopped
3-6 large garlic cloves chopped
1 long hot chilli pepper, seeds removed or not, chopped
3 cups cooked, smoked ham, cubed
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp oregano
2 – 3 tbsp Mexican chili powder
2 bay leaves
1 cup of red wine
2 large (l lb 12 oz) cans of diced tomatoes
4 cups shelled fresh borlotti beans
2 cups water
Diced fresh tomatoes, sliced scallions and grated cheese for toppings
Warm tortillas, corn or flour
Saute the onion, bell pepper, garlic and chilli in the oil until the onion is soft, add the smoke ham and continue to saute for abou 1 minute. Add the cumin, oregano, chili powder and bay leaves, continuing to saute for about 3 minutes. Add the red wine and boil for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, beans and water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours.
Top with diced fresh tomatoes, scallions and cheese. Serve with tortillas or cornbread.