Sunday, November 15, 2009
Yellow Eye Barley Stew
I finally received my beans from Rancho Gordo! I had ordered two packages of Yellow Indian Woman Beans, but I received two packages of Yellow Eye Beans. When I contacted Rancho Gordo, they said to keep the Yellow Eyes and they would ship me the Yellow Indian Woman Beans. I took this as a sign that I should make something immediately with the Yellow Eyes.
I really wanted a thick, earthy stew, so I chose barley as the grain to match with the Yellow Eyes.
I've also been reading a bit lately about the "traditional" preparations/soup bases, especially in European cooking. A mirepoix is the basic French base for soups: onion, carrot, celery. So, that's what I started with vegetable-wise.
The beans were soft and delicious. This soup doesn't overpower them, and all the vegetables went very well with the flavor of the beans. The barley was a good complement too.
1 cup uncooked Rancho Gordo Yellow Eye Beans, soaked overnight
1 small yellow onion, chopped (KF*)
1/2 - 1 cup organic celery, chopped (KF)
1 cup organic baby carrots, chopped (KF)
1 1/2 T organic extra virgin olive oil (KF)
4 large organic cabbage leaves, cleaned, rolled, and chopped (EO*)
1 organic golden beet, chopped (EO)
2 organic purple turnips, chopped (EO)
6 very small organic red potatoes, chopped (KF)
1 cup uncooked pearl barley (KF)
1/2 cup sliced exotic mushrooms (FW*)
1 heaping T organic no-salt seasoning (C*)
1 organic Rapunzel no-chicken bouillon square (NYN*)
What To Do
Soak beans overnight. Cook in soaking water, plus more water if needed, for 45 - 60 minutes.
Start with the mirepoix: heat large LeCrueset, when warm, add olive oil; when olive oil is warm, add onion, carrot, and celery and saute for 10 minutes. It took me a little longer because I used frozen chopped celery, which brought a bit of water into the mix. Although, I should add that if the mirepoix starts to stick, you should add a little water to keep everything from charring on the pan.
Add a bit of water and the bouillon square, and stir to mix well and break up/dissolve the bouillon.
Start adding the other vegetables, ideally the ones that take the longest to cook (potatoes, beet, turnips) first. I did not put anything in the right order, and it still turned out great. :)
Add in more water (to cover vegetables) and seasoning. Add the rinsed barley, make sure the barley is covered by the water, and cover.
When the Yellow Eye Beans are almost done cooking, add them and the cooking water to the stew pot. Cover and cook. Barley needs approximately 45 minutes to cook. The stew should simmer for at least that long; longer will make it even tastier!
Serve and enjoy -- it's a perfect stew for a rainy Saturday. This stew should make 6 servings. J and I ate it for lunch, and I had four servings to put into the fridge for meals later this week. Like most of my stews, this will need some water added when reheated because the barley will soap up the broth. I guess it could be eaten as a not-stew if you didn't add the water when reheating.
*KF - Key Food; EO - Evolutionary Organics (my favorite farmer at the market); FW - Fairway; C - Costco; NYN - New York Naturals (my local natural market).