Pinto Beans simply cooked in the crockpot with bacon. Cowboy Beans are creamy, healthy and a delicious side dish.
Here’s another side dish from my Pre-Christmas Mexican feast with friends. These beans were a nice compliment to the main course, Slow Roasted Achiote Pork.
Have you ever taken a bite of a straight forward simple ingredient dish and asked yourself, “why is this so darn good?” We did just that with this Colorado Cowboy Bean recipe. Here’s my opinion on why it turned out to be “so darn good”.
1. I used pinto beans from this year’s Colorado Fall harvest. I purchased them in October at the Farmer’s Market. I’ve read that some of the dried sacks of beans we purchase off the shelf can be 2-3 years old. My farmer’s market purchase was creamy in texture and outstanding with a flavor that I’d never experienced.
2. A spoonful of lard added to the slow cooker…nuff said.
3. Used good quality thick-cut bacon.
4. Slow cooked them in the crock pot for six hours.
Rick Bayless tells us that in Mexico, beans are not soaked overnight as doing so bleeds the color from the bean. So, taking two cups of dried fresh Colorado pinto beans, I sorted through them for any misfits and rinsed them in a colander. From there, they went straight into the slow cooker.
I added a big scoop of lard, some Southwestern ingredients, put the cover on and let them cream themselves into a heavenly goodness on high for four hours.
All in all they cooked for about six hours, however, the beans were tender in the first four hours on high. The freshness of the bean will dictate the cooking time. The fresher, the less time to reach a tender state. These beans can be made with or without tomatoes. They’re delicious either way.
Easy and flavorful. Beans made delicious thanks to your Slow Cooker
- 4 slices Thick cut bacon, cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces (4 ounces)
- 1 medium white onion cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
- 2 jalapeños seeded if you wish and cut into ¼-inch pieces
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes in juice preferably fire-roasted
- 1 pound about 2 1/2 cups dried pinto beans
- 1 Tablespoon lard heaping (optional)
- 1 cup loosely packed roughly chopped cilantro
In a removeable insert of a 6-quart slow cooker (or a large 10-inch skillet if your slow cooker does not have a stove-top safe insert) set over medium heat, cook the bacon several minutes, stirring regularly, until bacon starts to brown and renders its fat. Add the onion and cook until golden, about 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeños and cook until the garlic begins to brown and is fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and cook another minute.
Fit the insert into the slow cooker (or transfer the mixture from the skillet to the slow cooker) and add the beans, the lard (if using) and 7 cups of water. Cover and turn the slow cooker to high. Your beans will be done in 3 to 4 hours, though you can hold them for longer. (My slow cooker can be programmed to switch from high after 3 ½ hours to a “keep warm” temperature for another 6 hours. Some slow cookers click to “keep warm” automatically; others need to be switched manually.)
When ready to serve, remove 2 cups of the beans and process in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add the smooth beans back to pot and stir in the cilantro. Taste and season with salt. Ladle into bowls and serve.
Colorado Crockpot Cowboy Beans …They’re What’s for a Side Dish.
Looking for more delicious bean side dish recipes? Take a look at: