Santa Maria, California might be famous for its barbecued beef tri tip, but for local aficionados it's all about the beans. Classic Santa Maria style beans are made with a special variety of pink beans called pinquitos.
These "little pink" beans are prepared in a spicy, smoky, tomato/chili sauce that's spiked with not one, but two kinds of pork. Santa Maria beans have come into my life relatively late, so I plan on making up for lost time this barbecue season.
One thing I forgot to mention in the voiceover, do not salt the beans when you simmer them. Adding salt at the beginning when you cook beans is said to cause them to become tough.
Having said that, I have no idea if that's true since I've never tried it the "wrong" way. But, hey, why would someone makes up something like that?
Don't worry if you can't find the authentic pinquito beans - the recipe you see here was made with regular pink beans, and pretty much any dry bean will work. Enjoy!
1 pound dry pinquito beans, pink beans, or pinto beans Legumes
2 strips pepper bacon, diced
1/2 cup smoked cooked ham, diced
2 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp chipotle pepper, optional
pinch of dried oregano
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
Follow my foodie adventures on Twitter!