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Cowboy Beans
Appliance: Slow Cooker - 4 quarts and larger.
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This recipe is part of the Gluten Free Collection
Cowboy Beans
   1 pound dry pinto or pink beans
   5 cloves garlic, chopped
   1 bay leaf
   1/2 pound bacon, diced
   1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
   2 stalks celery, diced
   1 (14.5 ounce) can unsalted diced tomatoes
   1 (3.5 ounce) can sliced jalapeno peppers
   1 tablespoon chili powder
   1 teaspoon cumin
   Salt and Pepper, to taste

Pick over then rinse beans. When cooking in a slow cooker, it is not necessary to pre-soak beans. Pink beans are similar in size and texture to pinto beans, but generally seem easier for most to digest.

Place the beans in slow cooker's crock or inner bowl, and completely cover with water by one inch. Stir in garlic; add bay leaf. Cover, and cook 3 hours on High, checking water level periodically. If needed during cooking, add additional boiling water until beans are just covered. It is important to pre-cook the beans in this manner, because they will not soften in the presence of an acid (tomatoes).

Remove the bay leaf. Mix in remaining ingredients (through cumin). Cover slow cooker, and continue cooking 6-8 hours on Low, until bacon and beans are cooked, checking occasionally to make sure beans have not dried out.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

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