Recipes for Basque beans


Euskal Kazeta

Basque beans.

Nancy Zubiri, Editor

Euskal Kazeta readers’ favorite page is Favorite Basque Recipes. On that webpage, readers enjoy certain recipes more than others. One of the top Basque recipes people search for is Basque beans. We have all tasted a superb bowl of beans when visiting a good Basque restaurant.

Euskal Kazeta has collected some of the best Basque bean recipes on the web here for your convenience. We also provide our own recipe for Basque beans.

Gateau Basque
Favorite Basque Recipes
Porrusalda and other Basque soups

Ancient Salt Production in the Basque Country
Tortilla de Patatas (Potato Omelette)

Pinto Beans

2 lbs. bag of dry pinto beans
1/2 onion
5 cloves of garlic
1/2 tbsp. salt

Soaking the beans

Put the beans in a pot and cover with plenty of water for several hours. If I’m going to cook the beans throughout the day in a crock pot, I’ll soak the beans overnight. If I’m going to cook on the stove before dinner, I’d put them to soak in the morning. After soaking, throw that water out and cover with fresh water.

Fill the pot with water to about one inch over the soaked beans. Cook a few minutes with the top on until water is boiling. Meanwhile, dice the onion and garlic and saute until transparent. When the beans are boiling, stir in the onion and garlic. Turn the flame on low and keep the top on. It takes about 1 1/2 hours for pinto beans. When they are soft to the bite, they’re done. Add salt to taste. My family’s favorite is to serve it on a bed of fresh white rice.

Salsa Criolla (Peruvian)

My mother was Peruvian and this is a salsa we always used on our beans. Whenever friends come over and I serve them this sauce, they rave about it. So I am including this simple salsa here.

1/2 onion (the other half of the onion you used in the beans
1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp. any vegetable oil

Cut the onion into long, thin slices, from top to root. Spread the onions in a colander and shake plenty of salt (about a tablespoon) all over the onions. Let sit for 15 minutes. This takes the bite out of the onions. Rinse off the salt with water. Put the onions in a bowl, add the lemon juice and oil and mix well. Taste for salt and add just a dash if desired. If you have time, place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Tomato sauce: Many Basque restaurants add tomato sauce to their beans. For this recipe, add an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce just a few minutes before serving and stir in.

Salt pork: Cut two slices of salt pork (or bacon) into eight pieces. Fry until crunchy. Throw into the pot towards the beginning of the cooking, to add more flavor.

More Bean Recipes

Beans recipe from Louis’ Basque Corner in Reno, Nev.
Louis has sold his restaurant since this author wrote the article, but the current owners have kept the same restaurant menu.

Basque beans by Isusi and Sunset Magazine
These two recipes were published in a Spokesman Review Spokane Chronicle newspaper article dating from 1988, but come from reliable sources: Basque cookbook author Jose Maria Busca Isusi and Sunset magazine.

Beans recipe from Woolgrowers Restaurant in Bakersfield
This is owner Mayie Maitia’s actual recipe from the restaurant’s website. The key ingredient is tomato sauce.

Tolosa Black Beans with Chorizo from
This recipe gives a bit of history about how Tolosa gained fame for its beans.

We’d be happy to post any comments from anyone who tries one of these recipes.

From a Basque chef in England, Imanol Galfarsoro

Man cooking Basque beans at the Fresno Basque festival
Baking Basque beans at the Fresno festival. Photo: Euskal Kazeta.