Smoky Summer Ranch Beans

August 4, 2006

Smoky Summer Ranch Beans

(Heidi DeCosmo, TCSA)

Let the crockpot do all the work. For vegetarian beans, omit the bacon and add some chipotle powder for the smokey flavor.

1 pound dried pinto beans
4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
Sea salt to taste

Place the beans on the baking sheet to sort and remove small stones, lumps of dirt, and defective beans. Rinse the beans several times. Place beans in crockpot and cover with 8 cups of water. Add the bacon, onion, and garlic. Soak overnight without heat.

In the morning, heat the crockpot on HIGH for 2-1/2 hours. The beans should always be covered with water, so if needed, add more hot water to cover, especially if you want more bean broth. Check the beans periodically, as they may need as much as 2 more hours to become tender. When the beans are tender, season them with salt to taste and chili powder. Then let the beans sit and absorb the flavors for awhile. Serves 8.

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