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Cowboy Beans

What kind of beans do they make down at the dude ranch? Today's recipe is a Texas-style pinto bean recipe made with barbecue sauce. Choose a good one! I've found varying up the flavors of the sauce creates surprisingly good beans! I'd start with a regular Texas BBQ sauce, like Stubb's Original.

Did you see last week's newsletter Pork Tenderloin Caroline

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Cowboy Pinto Beans

Smokey and delicious, these beans are guaranteed to bring everyone to the table. The barbecue sauce we often use is Austin's famous Stubbs Bar-B-Q Sauce, but a new favorite is Bentley's Batch 5 from Dallas. You are free to choose your favorite sauce to customize the taste of the beans. And don't be shy about adding all three jalapeños. Just be sure to seed and wash them.

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 7 cups water
  • 1/4 to 1/2 pound salt pork (as lean as you can find)
  • 1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, with juice
  • 4 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce (your favorite, or see Southwestern Barbecue Sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Wash and pick over beans. Make several cuts into the salt pork down to, but not through, the rind.
  2. Combine all ingredients, except salt, in a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low simmer. Cook very slowly, covered. Stir beans up from the bottom occasionally, and add water if they start looking dry.
  3. Cook for at least 2 hours. When beans are soft (not mushy), but still hold their shape, they are done.
  4. Makes 8 servings.

Note: People in areas with hard water, like Austin or San Antonio can cook their beans till the cows come home, and the beans will still be tough or not thoroughly done. If you have that problem, add a scant 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to the cooking water, and you will have one less problem.

Kitchen tools you'll need:
Dutch oven or large pot
Grocery: Stubbs Bar-B-Q Sauce

More recipes: Red Beans and Rice, Dave's Beans

Lone Star List

Here are some things that caught my eye this week!

  1. Mexican Please: Masa Harina Cornbread recipe
  2. Houston Chronicle: As Luby's waits for someone to save them, Houstonians share their fondest cafeteria memories.
  3. New in the Book Pile!
    Smokelore: A Short History of Barbecue in America by Jim Auchmutey.

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