These tiny light-red beans are grown only in the Santa Maria Valley, as far as anyone knows. They create their own rich sauce when cooked long and slow.

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Credit: Dave Lauridsen

Recipe Summary test

3 hrs
Serves 10 (7 cups)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Wash beans and put in a large pot. Add enough water to cover beans by twice their depth. Cook over low heat, covered, until tender, 2 to 3 hours. Add enough water during cooking to keep beans covered by about 1/2 in. (they should be a little soupy).

  • While beans are simmering, cook bacon in a medium frying pan over medium-low heat until crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Add onion and chili powder and cook another 10 minutes. Stir in green chiles and minced garlic, and cook until flavors have mingled, 5 minutes more.

  • When beans are tender, gently stir in onion mixture, salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid has thickened slightly but beans are still quite soupy, 10 to 15 minutes.

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Nutrition Facts

239 calories; calories from fat 28%; protein 12g; fat 7.6g; saturated fat 2.4g; carbohydrates 31g; fiber 7.7g; sodium 382mg; cholesterol 10mg.