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Heirloom and Summer Bush Bean Stew

Serves 6-8
Brian Streeter
Pairs well with:
Dancing Bear Ranch, Howell Mountain

Good, fresh beans are such excellent eating and so simple to prepare. Because the beans are heirlooms, each has a distinct flavor and texture profile and the differences between them are a wonder to behold. Enjoy Chef Brian Streeter's recipe for Heirloom and Summer Bush Bean Stew with Cakebread Cellars Dancing Bear Ranch.


1 lb. mixed. heirloom beans*, such as Ojo de Cabra, Yellow Eye, Good Mother Stallard, etc., soaked overnight in cold water
2 qts. chicken broth
1 onion, diced
2 carrots,diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 rosemary springs

1/2 lb. yellow wax beans, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 lb. blue lake beans, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 T. olive oil
4 oz. pancetta, diced
1 small onion, dinely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. tomato, chopped
2 T. parsley, chopped


Drain beans and place each variety in a separate saucepan. Cover with chicken broth and add the diced vegetables and rosemary sprigs. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook over low heat for about an hour or until tender. Season with salt and allow to cool in the broth. Remove the vegetables and rosemary sprigs.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add wax beans and blue lake beans. Cook until tender. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Reserve.

Place a wide bottom pan over high heat, sauté the pancetta in olive oil until lightly crisp. Add the garlic and onion, cook for few seconds to soften without allowing it to brown. Stir in the tomato and cook for 5 minutes until the tomato starts to break down and thicken. Add the cooked heirloom beans with enough of their broth to just cover. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes to combine flavors and to let the starches in the beans slightly thicken the broth. Add the Yellow Wax and Blue Lake beans along with the chopped parsley to the pan. Cook for another two minutes and taste for seasoning. Serve with a crusty loaf of bread and a green salad.

  • Rancho Gordo is purveyor that specializes in heirloom beans and other new world foods. You can order from them online at

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