Magic Beans

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as an entrée

Appears in

Before I get to the great cassoulet, here is a delicious bean recipe. This can’t be made with commodity beans from the grocery store, so either order beans online from Rancho Gordo or check the company’s website for a listing of stores that carry them. The following recipe takes about 90 minutes, but only a minute of actual work.

To make a great meal of this, serve it with rice, or sprinkle it with panko bread crumbs toasted with butter to give the beans some crunch, and serve with a salad. Add a link or two of sausage for some heft. Or simply serve it as a side dish; you could garnish with thinly sliced scallion or chives, but that’s gilding the lily as far as I’m concerned.


  • 1 cup/200 grams Rancho Gordo Vaquero or Domingo Rojo beans
  • 1 quart/1 liter water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


In a heavy, high-sided pan (it should be deeper than it is wide), combine the beans, water, and salt. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce it to the gentlest of simmers. Cook until the beans are tender, 75 to 90 minutes. There should be a thin layer of water just covering the beans when they are done. Add more water if the level goes below that of the beans before they are cooked. Serve the beans with their broth.