Last Wednesday, I knew it would be a day spending time outside, doing mostly yard work. The night before I soaked a couple bags of dried beans to put in the slow cooker and rubbed down a Boston butt pork roast to put on the grill. I put the roast on the next day about noon and from time to time, drizzled it with my pork mopping sauce, the same one I use on my ribs. That night, we enjoyed our first pulled pork this spring along with roasted garlic smashed potatoes, yellow corn fried with roasted red peppers and these wonderful flavored Mexican beans that is as close to Ranch Style Beans that I have ever made. My intent was to make cone pones to go with the beans but by the time supper came, I was too tuckered from the yard work, we settled on Texas toast.
Now if you’re from Texas, from the south or have ever had these canned beans, you know the flavor – slightly spicy with saucy tomato gravy that makes beans dance on your tongue. Seriously folks, this is some fine eating. I use two types of beans for added flavor, the depth of beef stock, ham and bacon along with the Mexican spices that to me, add more layers of flavor to the beans. Try this one next time you grill out or want a delicious bean dish.
1 -16 oz bag dried small red beans (frijoles rojos pequenos)
4 slices bacon
2 large white onions, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 -14 oz cans beef broth
1 cup cubed smoked ham
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed oregano
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 -15 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained
Soak the beans over night in a hot waterbath adding a teaspoon of baking soda or vinegar. Drain water and rinse.
In a large skillet, cook the bacon until brown, remove bacon to paper towels to drain. Add the onions and bell peppers to the grease and brown. Add the jalapeños and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the beef broth and about 2 cups of water, bring to a boil and spoon mixture into your slow cooker. Add the beans and remaining ingredients except the tomatoes. Add just enough water to cover beans. Cook on high for 4 hours. Reduce temperature to low and set for another 4 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste.
About 2 hours into this setting, test the beans, they should be just about tender. If so add the tomatoes and cook remaining 2 hours. If not, let cook until beans are bite tender before adding tomatoes, then cook another couple of hours.