With their black and white patterns, Black Calypso beans look like a bag of little dairy cows. They are my very favorite bean, and while appearance does play a significant role in that, so does the way they cook. With a smooth and creamy texture they stand out among other beans for me.
I picked up a bag from Rancho Gordo a while back when visiting the CUESA farmers market at the Ferry Building. Then, on a recent visit I came across a recipe card that combined beer with beans. That recipe added the beer after the beans were cooked, but it sparked an idea for a slow cooker recipe for the Black Calypso beans sitting in my pantry.
I used a wheat beer in my beans because I wanted a lighter, citrus flavor to go with the cilantro and lime I would add later. I think a heavy, dark beer would work great, though, too.
The beans cooked up rich and creamy as expected with that familiar bite that comes from cooking with beer and wine. We’ve been eating them all week with a side of fall vegetables and topped with a fried egg.
Slow Cooker Black Calypso Beans with Beer and Bacon Recipe
Inspired by Drunken Beans by Elianna Friedman, CUESA Market Chef
Serves: 6 to 8
1 lb. Black Calypso beans, rinsed
1 small onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 slices thick-cut, pastured bacon, chopped fine
12 oz. wheat beer
5 cups vegetable stock or water (or a combination of the two)
1 to 2 tsp sea salt
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Lime wedges for serving
Place the beans, onion, garlic and bacon in the bowl of the slow cooker.
Pour in the beer. Add the stock or water (I used a combination of 2 cups of stock and 3 cups of water).
Stir all the ingredients and cook on high for 7 to 8 hours, or until the beans reach your desired tenderness.
Before serving, stir in the salt to taste. How much you need will depend on what type of stock and how much water you used. Stir in the cilantro.
Serve with lime wedges on the side.