Once again my favorite local charcuterie source seasons my beans. Dried legumes, even organic, are a bargain as well as nutritional gold. So you can afford delicious, sustainable and good for you meat when you stretch its flavor with versatile beans. A half pound of Dai Due‘s seriously smoky tasso (hewn from local pork and crafted without nitrates) can fortify a good two pounds of dried black-eyed peas (or the pulse of your choice) or fancy up your feijoada for posher prandials. My last batch of hoppin’ john included a pound of organic black-eyed peas (from Whole Foods bulk department. I bring my own bag.), Texas leeks, local carrot tops (always cut off the tops before storing your carrots, but don’t throw them away!), domestic organic garlic, a home grown bay leaf and that fragrantly meaty, smoky tasso, seared for Maillard’s sake, all crocked up in the slow cooker on HIGH for a few hours. I added a splash of organic apple cider vinegar (WF 365 brand is usually the best buy) towards the end. Remember to salt at the beginning of the process, to fully salinate the beans and facilitate even cooking.
Dai Due–Toss-o in the Tasso January 19, 2010