Peppery Pinto Beans with Sausage
courtesy of The Homesick Texan
- 1 pound dried pinto beans
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or bacon grease
- 1 pound smoked sausage or kielbasa, sliced into coins
- 1 large sweet or yellow onion, diced
- 3 large jalapenos, seeded, stemmed, and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Sliced jalapenos, for serving
Rinse and sort the beans. Place in a large pot or Dutch oven, cover with two inches of water, bring the pot to a boil then turn off the heat, cover the pot, and allow the beans to soak for an hour. After an hour when the beans have almost doubled in size, drain and rinse the beans and rinse the pot.
Place the pot back on the stove and heat the oil or bacon grease on medium heat. Add the sausage, and while occasionally stirring, cook until it just begins to crisp and some of the fat is rendered, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the onion and jalapenos and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Pour in the water and deglaze the pot, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate any stuck bits.
Return the beans to the pot and add enough water to cover the beans by 1 inch, about 6 more cups. Stir in the cilantro, chili powder, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, black pepper, and salt, turn the heat up to high and bring the pot to a boil. Once it’s boiling, turn the heat down to low and then cook partially covered until tender, which can take anywhere from 2 hours to 3 1/2 hours, depending on the age of the beans.
Keep an eye on the beans as they cook, making sure the liquid doesn’t get too low (if it does, add about 1/4 cup more water to the pot) and gently stir every half hour or so. I also like to taste the broth after 1 1/2 hours and see if the seasonings need any adjusting. You’ll know they’re done when the broth is rich and brown with most of the vegetables dissolved, and the beans, of course, are tender.
When the beans are done to your satisfaction, taste again and adjust the seasonings. Serve the beans warm, topped with sliced jalapenos.
A couple of weeks ago, my Timehop showed an entry from February 2014 in which I linked to this recipe post from The Homesick Texan and said “this is going on my list immediately!” And then I never made it. Whoops.
Well, thank goodness for Timehop, eh? Because going back to this one was an A+ decision. It was absolutely as good as I expected if not better. Spicy – but surprisingly, not too spicy – savory, proteiny goodness. Served with Fritos and cornbread for dinner, then with a fried egg on top for lunch the next day. This one will easily become a permanent fixture around here.