So far this month I've spent a little over $100 on food. Not bad when you consider that I spent way, way more than that last month (start-up pantry costs).
My stepson is coming to visit next week, and I know I'll need to get some groceries for his visit. I'm trying to put off that trip to the store until at least the weekend. My fridge is getting a little bare, but it's nothing I can't handle for a few more days.
So, yesterday's challenge: find something fun to do with that last bag of dried beans. In this case, pinto beans.
I got this recipe from the New York Times. Added bonus: it used up the rest of that bottle of terrible Rioja I had. Sometimes a wine is just so bad you have to save it for cooking, you know?
This isn't quite a stew. It's more like slightly wet beans.
1/2 pound smoky bacon, diced
1 large onion, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large sprigs rosemary
1 pound dried pinto beans, soaked overnight
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt, more to taste
2 cups dry red wine
Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving (optional)
Coarsely grated Parmesan, for serving (optional)
Coarsely ground black pepper or red pepper flakes, for serving (optional)
In the bottom of a large pot over medium-high heat, brown bacon until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in onion, celery, carrots, garlic and rosemary. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain beans and add to pot along with 1 tablespoon salt. Pour in enough water to just cover the beans (about 7 to 8 cups). Bring liquid to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently until beans are just tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a small pot over medium heat, simmer wine until it is reduced to 2/3 cup, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove rosemary branches from bean pot and discard them. Pour wine into beans and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes longer to meld flavors and thicken broth to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan, if desired; add more salt and black or red pepper to taste.