Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit...

I love me some pinto beans. And I can make a mean pot of them (recipe here). But when there's a special occasion, I like to change them up a little bit. So when I saw the Pioneer Woman cookin' up these Cowboy Beans, I knew I had to give them a try. They're like the best of pintos and the best of baked beans all in one pot.

Ree's recipe makes a HUGE batch, so I cut it half.

To make this yummy goodness, you'll need:
  • 2 cups dry pinto beans
  • half a pound of thick cut bacon, cut into pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • half an onion, chopped
  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder, optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Now I ask you, with ingredients like that, how could this be bad?
(I know, Kav, we lost you at bacon. Sorry, girl.)

Rinse the beans under cold water and set aside.

In a heavy pot, saute the bacon pieces until halfway cooked and the fat is rendered. That just sounds wrong, doesn't it? But instead of sauteing the veggies in butter, we're gonna use the good stuff. 

Add the bell peppers and onion to the pot and cook until they start to brown.
Mine aren't quite there yet.

Add the beans and cover with water by one inch. Bring to a boil, then add the brown sugar, ketchup, mustard, chili powder, salt, pepper and garlic.
Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until beans are tender and the liquid is thick (3-4 hours).

Oh...let me tell you, the flavor infused in these babies is Y.U.M.M.Y. The perfect accompaniment to barbecued brisket or just about any slab of meat you want to throw on the grill. 

Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of the finished product. Remember that birthday party I threw myself? 
Yeah, they were for that. 

However I do have something else to share with you. You know, it's not very often someone has a fire truck pull up in front of their house. At least, I hope not. 
So imagine my surprise when I peered out my office window yesterday as the big red truck came to stop in front of our house. Not to mention the two nice-looking firemen that emerged from said truck, but we won't go there. 

No matter how old I get, this is one of those things that I think is kind of awesome. 
I only wish I'd hit record sooner.


  1. Looks good! But my husband eats beans almost every day (no, really, there's always a pot on or one in the fridge to warm up) and if I messed with them... he would have a heart attack. Maybe I can make a small batch of these for me and the kids? I can promise you that there's no way he'd eat beans with sugar in them! That's so American... but now I want some!

    1. LOL! Men do tend to get set in their ways. Does this mean you make beans all the time, Virginia, or does hubby? What country is he from originally?

  2. Ha! I want a fireman too, Virginia.

    1. Order up for Russo. One fireman to go. :)

  3. I'm with Cruz, I don't do sweet beans, either. I love hearty bean soup, or beans with meat or meat and veggies.... but the sweet versions just don't grab me, and folks keep laughing at me, saying TRY THESE, YOU'LL LOVE 'EM!!! But there's something about the texture of cooked beans and the sugar that doesn't work for me. But when beans are in other dishes, I love 'em... Whaddya think? The Yankee in me, all New England dinner style or just a stubborn Irish girl with weird taste buds???? BUT THE FIREMEN.... :) That's like my adventure at Applebees when the whole contingent rained down on the restaurant because the alarm coded and they couldn't get the code to erase.... Book inspiration to the max, LOL! :) So stinkin' cute!!!! And I love that you're videotaping the firemen and they're probably spotting you out of the corner of their eyes and thinking.... "Really??????" :)

    1. No Boston baked beans for you, huh, Ruthy? I know what you mean though. There are plenty of times I don't like sweet with my savory. Just depends what it is.

      I don't know if they saw me or not. I tried to be as stealthy as I could. :)

  4. Wait -- no close up of the fireman? Don't you have a zoom lens? :-)

    You're right, you lost me at bacon, but got my attention again real quick with fireman. LOL. Dare I say that the local station seems to do the grocery shopping early Saturday morning, the same as me. What are the odds in that? Sigh. We cruise the produce together but then I lose them at the meat freezers. They buy a lot of meat. And they never wander down the health food aisle. Ever! What's with that?!

    1. Sorry, Kav. Like I told Ruthy, I was trying to stay out of sight. But next time I will do a close up just for you.

      And what is it with firemen and grocery stores. They're always at my grocery store. I realize they have to eat, but do they go for every meal? And hey, you can't have a little beefcake if they don't eat their meat. That's just the laws of nature. :)

  5. I can do baked beans but never had regular npbeans with sugar..are they super sweet? I need to make some beans..been wanting homemade ones just don't want to babysit the stove and with a dog on prednisone nothing is safe

    1. No, they're not super sweet. Not like a baked bean. But for a meal, Susanna, I love my regular pinto bean recipe. Lots of flavor, no fat. Perfect.

    2. regular beans sound really good right now - someone who used to work wth me gave me a cowboy beans recipe that's really good- basically pintos from scratch cooked with a bunch of powdered mustard sprinkled over the top and stirred in,a nd onion and that linked sausage like eckrich then when they're done add rotel tomatoes and keep cooking. nice and spicy. I use the low fat sausage but the flavor or course is mucho better with the real deal...figures

  6. I missed yesterday! But I can still get the recipe. :) This looks so good! I've never made baked beans from dry beans. Always canned. I bet this is even better!!