I’m not sure if it’s a Texas thing or a just the women in my world thing, but I’ve never heard any of the “real” cooks say that they were going to cook some beans. No, they’re always going to “put on a pot of beans.”
Today, we can’t do that. We are going to have to “put in” a pot because we are going to cook our beans in the oven!
Now, before we start you need to know that if you are not from Texas or if you do not like your food seasoned well, this will not be the pot of beans for you. They are, however, one of my husband’s favorites.
Oh….and in Texas everyone would know that a pot of beans means “red” beans, the ones the rest of the world calls pinto beans.
1 Pound Pinto Beans
Bacon Drippings, about 1/4 cup
Meat (I used pork chops this time.)
Fresh Jalepeno (I usually use 2, but you might start with one.)
1 Can Original Rotel Tomatoes, about 10 ounces
Bell Pepper (I used 2.)
1 Ounce 14.5 Can Diced Tomatoes (I used Hunts with peppers.)
Cilantro to taste
Wash your beans and put them a in a very large pan. The one I use belonged to my Aunt Vesta and old though it is, I’d never consider using another.
Add bacon drippings, garlic salt, meat, jalepeno, and Rotel tomatoes. I normally just throw in 2 whole jalepenos; however, I did not have any today and I used the sliced canned ones to equal about that amount of heat.
Add your meat. I don’t usually use pork chops in this recipe, but that was all that I had on this day. They work fine, but you will have to use a spoon and break them in pieces once they are done.
If I were you I would use a package of some fatter pork ribs. Boneless is best, but you can always remove the bones easily once they are done because the meat will fall off of them.
Cover with water. I add enough water to equal about 3/4 of the pan. You do NOT want to have to add water at any point after this first time…unless you just have to…
Since there is no rocket science to this recipe, you have to decide at this point how you want to plan your day. If you need to leave the house or if you just need them to cook slower, put your beans uncovered in the oven at 300 degrees. You should be safe for about 4 hours IF you really did add plenty of water.
Putting the beans on at 350 degrees will mean that you need to start checking them in 3 hours. Just remember that I use a very large pan. If you are using something smaller, you will need to be sure you watch your water level. If you do have to add water it will not ruin the beans.
At some point between now and when you plan to serve your beans, do the following.
1. Cook about 3 pieces of bacon in a skillet.
2. While bacon is cooking, chop your pepper and onions. Rickey likes them in large chunks, but you can certainly cut yours smaller.
3. Before my bacon is completely done, I add the onion and pepper. Cook until almost tender.
4. Just before the mixture is tender, add your can of tomatoes and peppers, stirring well.
5. About 5 minutes before all is done, add a handful of cilantro (or any amount) and let the mixture finish cooking.
Pour all into your pot of beans. You really don’t need to return to the oven, but for some reason I usually do for about 15 minutes. If your meat needs breaking into smaller pieces, you might do it here.
I cut out most of the pan in this photo because you will get a “ring around the pan” look; but the taste of your beans will more than make up for that! Also, I really did not think you could cook beans without adding some sugar, but this recipe doesn’t seem to need it. If you just think you have to have sugar, by all means add it!