Lazy Person's Blazing Saddles
Recipe and photos by Tom Weber
I don't know about you, but growing up I used to love
going to the Saturday matinee at the local movie theater near my house
and spend an entire afternoon watching that week's western-themed double
Those story lines that took the audience along the dusty
trails of countless cattle drives inevitably ended up around a twilight
campfire with a bunch of cowpokes having a hearty supper of beans.
In unison, the hired hands would complain to the cook,
"BEANS AGAIN?" But they scarfed it all down and chased it
with a tin cup of darker-than-midnight black coffee.
I got so hungry just watching them spoon out all that
goodness that I would rush home during the closing credits and rummage
through the cupboard for a can of pork-'n'-beans It's what's for
Over the years, my love of westerns has not diminished,
nor has my desire for a tasty plate or bowl of beans straight
up with vinaigrette, added to a bed of greens, or, my favorite, soup.
In honor of beans and broncobusters, I thought I'd head
into my own virtual chuck wagon and whip up a pot of soup straight out
of the Lazy Person's cookbook. With a nod to Hollywood director Mel
Brooks, and for obvious reasons, this recipe is called Blazing
Saddles Bean Soup.
Step-1: Submerge the dried Italian fagioli del moro
di Norcia (or any dried large, dark bean you have) in a bowl of
cold water, cover and let soak for 12 hours before proceeding to Step-2.
Step-2: Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil
and set on MEDIUM HIGH heat.
Step-3: Brown the garlic cloves then remove (or, follow
Step-4 for alternate garlic powder).
Step-4: Add the pancetta and/or bacon cubes,
chopped red onion, cubed potato, garlic powder, spicy red pepper and
salt; stir frequently until the pancetta browns (about 10 minutes).
Step-5: Drain the beans then add them to the pot along
with the Red Wine and stir.
Step-6: Once the alcohol dissipates from the wine, add
the chicken stock, stir and bring the mixture to a boil. At this point,
you can also add a couple of bay leaves (laurel) into the mixture to
help reduce or eliminate the unwanted after-effects of beans.
Step-7: Turn the heat down LOW, cover the pot and low
cook for approximately 2 hours.
Step-8: Turn off heat and, with a handheld blender or
old-fashioned strainer, puree the mixture to a creamy consistency leaving
a few of the beans whole for extra texture and appearance.
Step-9: Pour three ladles of soup into each bowl, drizzle
atop a cross of olive oil and serve with crunchy bread or top each bowl
with a few croutons
Recommended wine pairing: Costadolio Rosato IGT Maculan
Società Agricolo, Breganze, (VI), Italy
This light and lively rosé is made from 100%
Merlot grapes. At 12.5% alcohol by volume, Costadolio Rosato IGT is
intense with fruity aromas of peaches and lychee along with white flower
petals. On the palate, it's full-bodied and silky, with a lovely, lingering
Costadolio Rosato IGT pairs well pasta and risotto dishes
along with grilled and roasted fish, and LP's Blazing Saddles Bean Soup.
Best served chilled at 10°C