Recipe of the Week

Monday, Jan 30, 2012

Dale in Tennessee's Bean Stretcher

A favorite of mine as tested among our group and deemed worthy after being served at a church pot luck. I came up with this after pondering a few days on how to mix some of the random stored food we keep on hand in our pantry. We have enjoyed the various canned Bush's Grillin Beans for the robust flavor and stock them by the case on our shelves but I wanted a way to make a meal out of them instead of having just a side dish.

Solution: Black bean fiesta grillin beans as a flavor base for a chili type meal. I add in chunks of beef for the current civilized version, but any meat ends up savory by the time the meal is ready. Your stored rice still supplies a nice bulk to fill everyone up, while the random meat and a couple cans of beans provides quick and easy taste.

Serves 3-4 adults:

2 cans of black bean fiesta grillin beans stewed slowly while you brown approximately 1-to-1.5 lbs. of meat. Beef cubes, two squirrels, one rabbit, half a chicken, or a pile of crawdads from the creek. Add the cooked meat to the beans. Mix in 2 cups of cooked rice. Serve in a bowl with cornbread on the side.

To stretch your supplies of canned food you can boil up some normal beans from your dried stock of black or pinto beans and mix it in. Stretch things further by serving over a large pile of rice just to give some flavor and variety for day 243 of "ohboyriceagain". If you have some onions, potatoes, or other soup staples you can use them to expand the meal into a sort of gumbo (add a bit of water to keep things from caking together).

While the supermarket is still up and running try this version out the next time your group gets together for a training or retreat construction day:

2 cans of grilling beans
1 lb. beef cubes
6 chicken tenderloins cut into chunks
1/2 lb. jumbo shrimp

Chef's Notes:

Just fry up the meat and drop it into the simmering beans. Serve in bowls then add in sharp cheddar cheese cubes on top. Fried pies on the side. Do not expect to get much work out of your team after such a meal.

Useful Recipe and Cooking Links:

Reader Chris H. recommend Cooking Wild magazine, a publication dedicated to wild game recipes.

Marie K. found the Cookit! web site, that offers a "History Cookbook" which is categorized by time periods (such as Prehistoric, Romano-British, Saxons & Vikings, etc.) Within each time period, videos of individuals costumed for the era demonstrate how different recipes were prepared. They show how to make Girdle Bread over the fire (Medieval recipe) or Beancakes (Saxon/Viking recipe) or Roman Lentil Casserole also known as Pottage (a Romano-British recipe).

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