Early on Sunday mornings I love to put on a big pot of beans to slow cook so we can enjoy them for the next couple of weeks. I had to purchase some ham hocks for a recipe I was working on and I had a few left over. I decided to dress up my beans a little this time and one ingredient led to another. I was inspired by an episode of the Pioneer Woman I had just seen where she was cooking cowboy beans and they sounded really good! So I raided my pantry and refrigerator and the results were delicious. I will be adding this recipe to my menu more often this coming winter. Makes for a nice change to the regular beef chili I serve during game nights.
Yields up to 8 servings
1 pound pinto beans
6 strips bacon, sliced
1½ cups or 10 ounce link of Mexican chorizo
1 sweet onion, diced, about 1½ cups
1 large green bell pepper, diced
1 Fresno pepper, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced
1 habanero pepper left whole
3 dried guajillo peppers, stems and seeds removed
9 cups water
1 ham hock
1 cup ketchup (I used spicy ketchup)
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons pepper
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup brown sugar (add more if you like the beans sweeter)
Salt to taste
1. Clean and rinse the beans and cover them with cold water while you prep your ingredients.
2. Heat a large heavy dutch oven pot to medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Add the chorizo and cook for another 5 minutes. Add all of the fresh peppers, garlic, and the whole dried guajillo peppers. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes.
3. Drain the beans and add to the pot. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the pot, minus the salt. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, covered ¾ of the way and continue cooking for 2 to 2½ hours or until the beans become tender.
4. I like to add the salt at the end because there are ingredients that already contain salt in the recipe. And also because my Dad always told me not to add salt to the beans until they were almost done, for a soft bean. At this time you could adjust the seasonings if you like, adding more or not. Remove the guajillo chile peppers before serving.
Note: As with any recipe, you can adjust how spicy you want to make it, by adding or taking peppers away from the ingredients.