As you know as a working mom myself, I love using the crockpot to make great meals and let me write new recipes and run my websites while all the while having guy friendly dishes on the other end. Of all my sites this is the site that probably has the most testosterone and as such I have the perfect test table with five hungry guys from 12 to more mature will say. So if any of my sites better be spot on guy food it is this one and no faking salad here this is guy food at its best.
Now next to grilled anything my guys love hardy side dishes that fill any blanks the meat left behind and what historic dish is a more fitting then good old cowboy beans. I mean you want to talk about guy sized appetites at the end of a hard day’s work what better example than the legendary heroes of the west the cowboys. Now there is good reason why the cowboys ate loads of beans and today that is not much of a reason but the place in our food lure for this dish is cast in many a dusty path.
Although your (well mine at least) have not been out riding and rounding up the heard they still have that one common thing all young men have and that is appetite and a need to have good food to fill it. When setting out to do this recipe I asked myself what things would my guys want in this kind of recipe and first of all beef, second (a bit of mom in them) bacon and then the beans and what makes great cowboy beans but a sweet and spicy sauce that packs as much heat as you are willing to put into them. I tell you right up front adjust to your little cow folks liking.
Not enough well with the use of some dried jalapeños we can turn it up anywhere you like I give you a bit in a couple ways but like the directions say only way to do any real cooking is taste and adjust to you not me what I like isn’t necessarily what you like so I keep it somewhat tame and you go from there. Now normally I would use fresh chilies but for this dish the dried ones work out a bit more convent in my opinion feel free to substitute fresh chilies or even pickled ones this is all personal preference. Also if you want garnish it with your favorite green stuff but really they don’t need it.
- 1 pound dried pinto beans
- ½ pound smoked bacon, thick-cut in ¼ slices
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup Pappy's Moonshine Madness Hot Barbecue Sauce with Kentucky Bourbon
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- ½ cup Golden Barrel Blackstrap Molasses
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ½ tablespoon Mother Earth Products Dried Jalapeno Peppers (more if brave)
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- Water to cover (about 4 cups)
- The night before you want your beans pick through them and place in a large glass bowl after rinsing under cold water and fill to top with cold water and leave on counter to soak overnight.
- Next morning drain the water and rinse again add these to the crockpot.
- Add all your seasonings and cover the beans with water until covered about ½ an inch with water and blend everything well with a wooden spoon.
- In a skillet cook your bacon until about 90% done and place in crockpot.
- Retain the grease and cook the onion on medium high for about 5 minutes lower heat and cook another 5 minutes then add in the garlic and cook 2 minutes more.
- Drain the grease and add this to the crockpot.
- Over a medium high heat brown the ground beef completely then drain well place this in the crockpot and place cover on and set to low for about 8 hours.
- Half way through check the water level they should still be pretty watery at this point if not add a cup of water return the lid and finish cooking.
- In the last half hour if they seem a bit to watery turn to high and remove the lid also at this time adjust the seasoning with salt and fresh cracked pepper if not spicy enough for your taste add a little bit at a time of the dried jalapeños until they are almost spicy enough and let finish cooking they will get a bit spicier as the dried jalapeños meld together with the rest.
- Serve with your favorite barbeque meal.
In the old west cowboys would eat a lot of beans as dried beans traveled well and would last without need of preserving. In the old days the chuck wagon cooks would simmer their beans over a fire but thanks to the modern marvels of cooking we are going to do ours in the crockpot and will need to pay a lot less attention to them to get great tasting beans that go great with many different barbequed favorites from burgers to steak or even many seafood or chicken dishes. If you wanted to try cowboy beans before but didn’t want to stand over a stove or fire to make them then this is a recipe you may appreciate. As always adjust the heat to your liking and it is easy to turn it up with the use of the dried jalapeños.
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