Charros were the elegant horsemen of Mexico, but later the term described the Mexican cowboys who settled and worked in Texas. The cowboy beans of the American Southwest, these would be simmering all day in an earthenware olla on the back of the stove for dinner or over the open fire out on the range. Depending on the age of your beans, you may need to add a bit more boiling water during cooking. Serve with white rice and cornbread.
Cooker: Large round
Setting and Cook Time: HIGH for 3-1/2 to 5 hours; add salt, oregano, cumin, and cilantro during last hour
One 1-pound package dried pinto beans
11 cups water
2 jalapeños, stems removed
6 to 8 ounces cooked chorizo (Mexican sausage), chopped
4 strips bacon, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small yellow or white onion, chopped
2 to 3 teaspoons salt, to your taste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Freshly grated longhorn cheddar
Fresh tomato and onion salsa
1. Put the beans in a colander and rinse under cold running water; pick over for damaged beans and small stones. Transfer to the slow cooker and cover by 3 inches with cold water. Let soak for 6 to 12 hours and drain.
2. Add the 11 cups of water, jalapeños, chorizo, bacon, garlic, and onion. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-1/2 to 5 hours. The beans need to be covered with liquid at all times to cook properly. When done, they will be tender and hold their shape, rather than fall apart.
3. Towards the end of the cooking time, season with the salt and remove the chiles. Add the oregano, cumin, and cilantro leaves. Let the beans simmer 1 hour more, uncovered, which will thicken them nicely.
4. Serve the beans immediately in soup bowls, topped with grated longhorn cheddar and a fresh tomato and onion salsa. Or let cool in the cooker 1 hour, uncovered. Then transfer with their cooking liquid to a covered storage container to refrigerate or freeze.
Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook
by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann
Harvard Common Press
$32.95, hardcover, 1-55832-244-2
$16.95, paperback, 155832-245-0
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created March 2005
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