Friday, September 24, 2010

A square Meal For a Countryboy > Beans

Growing up on a Texas ranch, Beans and Corn bread were a staple and it seemed as though there was a pot warming on the stove daily. On a cold day their creamy goodness warm the soul like a mothers love. They are at home along side of the Potato salad at a BBQ, or as the main dish served with cornbread and garnished with a Jalapeno and a slice a Texas Sweet onion.
 On a recent trip home to visit her sweet Dad, my daughter called with her flight information and and a request for one of her favorites; Pinto beans and Cornbread for dinner the first night. You can take the Girl out of the country but I don't think you will ever get the country out of the girl. Gentlemen you have been warned.
I have eaten Beans all my life all over this land and in several different countries. Though the ways to prepare them do not vary greatly there are little things that are added in different cultures that give their beans a special twist.
The things that have changed in my recipe over the years are a direct result of these are; the inclusion of Mexican oregano, that I had in a bowl of beans in Tuscon AZ., Whole cloves that perked up some Black beans in a Cuban restaurant in Miami. A little ketchup for a bit of a spark, from Beans and Franks at a roadside dinner in OH.
My cooking methods have changed as well. Instead of the stove top in dutch oven I have switched to the Crock Pot with great success, from "Bean Town" ( Boston) and their long baked beans prepared in earthen ware crocks.
The result is some of the tastiest Pinto beans to ever grace a plate. Enjoy!

 Prep time: 8 hrs          Cook time: 6 hrs.           Serves: 8


1 lb dry pinto beans, picked and sorted to remove debris
2 oz aprox. by weight  Salt Pork sliced into lardones
1 qt low sodium Beef Stock (home made if you have it) the  best you can find
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp Granulated Garlic or 2 cloves chopped fine
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp Black pepper ( the stuff from the box)
1/2 tsp onion powder or 1/4  finely cup grated Spanish onion
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Corriender
2 Bay leaves
1 tsp Whole Cloves
1Tbl Mexican oregano
2 tbl Ketchup
* optional 2 Jalapenos with slits cut into the sides

Tools: Measuring spoons, Crock pot or dutch oven, Box Grater, Paring Knife.


Sort the beans to remove any debris( twigs, pebbles)  rinse well and soak in 2 qrts of water over night.
The next morning and rinse again. place beans in the crock pot, add all the spices, salt pork, beef stock, and ketchup. Give a quick stir place the lid on  and set to high. Cook 6 hrs.
If using a dutch oven cook on med/low.
Serve with corn bread and sliced sweet onion, Jalapeneos or long grain rice. or serve as a side.

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