Saturday, October 19, 2019

Jacob's Cattle Beans Stew with Hard Red Winter Wheat Berries

Last weekend, I picked up some fresh, organic, locally grown
Jacob's Cattle Beans from the Carrboro Farmers' Market. They looked good and I thought I'd cook them tonight with hard red winter wheat berries.

I rinsed and then soaked the beans (I had a quart bag full) for about 8 hours; since they're fresh, I didn't really need to soak them or, at least, not for so long. But it doesn't hurt and was convenient. I drained the beans and put them in the Instant Pot pressure cooker with just enough fresh water to cover them. I thought that I'd cook them for 20-25 minutes under pressure.

Wheat berries cook in a 1:3 ratio under pressure for 25-30 minutes. So, I measured out about a half cup of the wheat berries and three times (i.e., 1 1/2 cups) water, and added to the Instant Pot. I also mixed in:

  • a medium carrot cut into approximately 1/4" slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped (into maybe 1/4" pieces)
  • 1t ginger, finely (1/8") minced
  • 1/8 t turmeric
  • 1/4 t ground cumin
  • 1/8 t lemon pepper
  • 1/8 t onion powder
Then, I cooked under pressure for 30 minutes. I waited a few minutes for the pressure to come down, then I carefully opened the pressure cooker. I mixed in:
  • 1/4 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1t lemon juice
  • 3/4 t salt
  • a touch of hot sauce
I had a little bit of crisp lettuce left, so cut the lettuce into 1/2" pieces and mixed it in, as well.

I served along with Jade Pearl rice and, atop lettuce leaves, small sweet peppers and blistered Greek peppers - I picked these up from the farmers' market, as well; they're a lot like shishito peppers that I quite enjoy, and also have almost no heat - that I sprinkled salt (I recently bought Portugese fleur de sel with citrus that I quite like) atop.


Dinner was good! My wife had been traveling for a few days but just returned tonight and enjoyed the meal. My daughter had a friend staying overnight with us, and both children enjoyed the meal. I was pleased; the beans had a nice flavor and the combination was quite good. The proportion of bean to wheat berry was also pleasing, with the wheat just giving a bit of bite and texture.

Ideas for the future

I don't know why I don't use wheat berries more often - I should. I would like to get more Jacob's Cattle Beans! Maybe I could try another bean dish with ample crispy lettuce pieces mixed in at the end.


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