Archive for December 18th, 2010


Beans, Beans the Musical Fruit………

The cold weather absolutely prompts this urge to cook a pot of beans. My dad always craved a pot of pinto beans, cooked plain. After cooking the pot of beans, he would add, on the side, corn bread or white bread and bacon. Plenty of pepper was dashed upon the top of the beans.

Every time I watch some old western movie, the camp cook slops a spoon full of beans on an old tin plate and the ranch hand is seen scooping in spoonfuls of beans into their mouths followed by them mopping up the bean juice with some bread or tortillas…that is more than a spartan meal to me. It is comfort food.

I have admittedly adorned my beans with more than my dad did. More seasonings, more meat, more types of beans. And, like him, I seem to make enough for the neighborhood. You, of course, may add many more seasonings to your beans. I keep it fairly simple. Wait on any tomato based additives until the very end.

Beans Soaking (SB)

You can soak your beans for about 6 hours over night or quick soak them (bring beans to a boil then turn off and let soak for half the time). I usually rinse the beans, inspect for grit and a pebble or two and then soak over night. That requires some forethought so if you are sitting there at mid-morning and get a hankering for beans go for the quick soak and get busy.   BEANS

I cook up 2 pounds of lean ground beef for less fat and better texture. You could use other meat that suits you, but I opt for ground beef. I drain off any fat and season the meat with chili powder, red wine and cumin. I set it aside and only add it to the beans near the end.

The beans are cooked  in a large pot. I pay attention to not scorch the beans and to pay attention to the water level. Growing up, I recall my mom would get busy with chores, gabbing or a nap….and boy howdy, burn the beans! So cooking the beans requires a little attention to the water level. This will also determine whether your beans are thicker or more soup like.You can even add a touch of rice.

Not Just for the Beans (SB)

I always follow the portions technique of ‘if a little is good, then more is better’. Hence, I end up with large portions. But, I must admit, I will eat many bowls of the beans over the weekend. Once the beans are cooked, I stir in the already cooked beef and let it simmer for a bit. Once it is served up, I add the obligatory black pepper atop the beans.

Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit……………

Oh, to avoid discord: try to limit spattering grease, dried bean juice, and dirty pots and pans. I, once again, didn’t do very well re that.

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December 2010

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