Charro Beans

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Tools: Instant pot, slow cooker, or stove top

Preparation time: 30 minutes,  4-6 hours on high, 6-8 hours on low, an hour

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Ingredients:

1 Pound pinto beans sorted, soaked overnight, and rinsed

1 Bunch cilantro

2 Cloves garlic

1 Whole onion

1 Jalapeno, seeded and chopped

(this will not add heat, for a spicy pot of beans, add at least three)

1 Can diced tomatoes

3 Slices diced bacon (Optional)

3 Hot dogs cut into rounds

1 Packet bouillon of choice (I’m using ham)

Generous grind of black pepper

Seasoning salt to taste

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Method:

Instant pot: Combine all ingredients, adding water to cover two inches above all ingredients. Set on broth/ soup mode. Allow instant pot to release naturally. Remove cilantro, garlic, and onion. Season to taste with seasoning salt.

Slow cooker: Combine all ingredients, adding water to cover two inches above all ingredients. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 4-6 hours, adding water as needed. Remove onion, garlic, and cilantro. Season to taste with seasoning salt.

Stove top: Combine all ingredients, adding water to cover two inches above all ingredients. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 4-6 hours, adding water as needed. Remove cilantro, garlic, and onion. Season to taste with seasoning salt.

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Vegan Variation: Omit bacon. Use vegetable broth. Use your favorite vegan hot dogs.

Kosher variation: Omit bacon. Use vegetable or beef broth. Use your favorite Kosher hot dogs.

Have you ever had food so good you were haunted by it?

I’m talking years! I had Charro beans six years ago. Six! I had them at a wedding that was also a potluck (In my opinion the best way to eat at a wedding.) Unassuming on the buffet, resting atop a can of Sterno. Just a few scoops on my plate. I wasn’t prepared for the flavor. They were amazing. I haven’t had any like them since. Years of asking everyone I know from El Paso and New Mexico. No cherished family recipes! So I’m making my own. All the recipes I looked up instructed cooking the beans in water and then seasoning. You know what’s better than that? Cooking beans in a pot full of flavor. As I’ve told you before, your beans are only as good as your broth.

The right broth packet can make all the difference in your rice, beans, and casseroles.You know about Goya’s Ham broth, but for my Vegan and Kosher cooks, Try out this Goya bouillon with Mexican Saffron. (This does contain MSG if you are gluten sensitive.)

Charro beans are named after the traditional cowboys (charros.) It’s a working man’s dish. Oh, the sweet combination of meats, vegetables, and beans. This broth is like a drug. It might be my favorite one pot meal ever. I also plan on taking it to the next potluck I’m invited to in Carolina. Minds will be blown. Other versions of Charro beans add Linguisa or Chorizo. Use whatever you like. These are your Charro beans.

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