Another recipe from my buddy Bex at Elk River Guest Ranch in beautiful CO, this time a standard of ranch cooking: Cowboy Beans
At home, though, after a day of puttering in the garden and some light housework, with a piece of cornbread and a spring onion or two, it’s a MEAL.
Don’t forget the tall glass of cold buttermilk.
1 lb. dried pinto or kidney beans
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 orange bell pepper, or equivalent small peppers, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, or equivalent small ones, seeded and diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 lb. thick-cut bacon, cut into pieces (extra fat cut off, big pieces)
1 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons adobo powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Place beans in large bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside and let soak 5-6 hours or overnight. The beans will absorb lots of water so make sure the level of the water is above the beans by at least an inch at first. By morning they will look like this:
Drain and rinse the beans.
Place in a large pot. Add garlic, orange and red bell peppers and onions. (Tip: If you want some of the peppers to be semi-crisp at serve-time, hold 1/2 of them back and add them in the last 15 minutes of cook time). Cover with about an inch of water and add bacon. Next add chili powder, adobo, cumin, salt, and pepper.
Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer beans until tender, about 2 hours. Check liquid level about halfway through cooking process.
Yield: 8-9 servings
Recipe may easily be doubled for a ranch-sized crowd.