Texan 'Lobio'

Beans are something we tend to cook and eat a lot of here.  They are easy, cheap, healthy and delicious.  And they can be prepared in so many ways that you never really get tired of them.  For example, if you are tired of trying out the different Georgian lobio recipes, you can always make them the Texan way, with plenty of bacon and peppers!

Although, the bacon may negate some of the healthiness.  But it makes them even more delicious, so that counts for something, right?

Moving right along then...

Oh, and if you like your beans spicy, leave the seeds in the peppers.  I have to take them out because Bulldozer won't eat much if something is too spicy (although he will, with a proud nod of his head, announce that sometimes he eats spicy things) and also because if eat something too spicy, Little Person will get me back for it later.

For Texan-style lobio, you will need the following:
  • 2 lbs pinto beans, sorted and washed
  • water
  • 1 large onion
  • 8 oz bacon
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 anaheim pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • cayenne pepper
  • black pepper
  • salt

If you have the good sense to plan ahead, soak your beans overnight in cool water.  If you are like me and decide to cook beans the same day that you have a meeting (during the circuit overseer visit, no less!), then follow this method: in a large pot or dutch oven, cover your beans with water.  Bring it to a boil and then drain off this first batch of water.  

Pour in about two quarts of hot water to start with and bring that to a boil.  Reduce the heat slightly, to a gentle boil.  Cover and let that cook while you get started on coarsely chopping onions and peppers.

Once you have your onions ready, throw them in the pot with the beans.  Cover and let that keep gently boiling.

After your beans have been cooking for half an hour or so, it's time to add the bacon (or ham hocks or some form or other of smoked pork).  Roughly dice it and toss the whole half-pound in.  Stir well, cover and keep cooking.

At some point, you will probably need to add a little more water.  I kept some water hot in my electric kettle for this, so that I wouldn't bring the temperature of the beans down and mess up the cooking time.  Always try to add hot water when you are doing this.  And only a little at a time, since we aren't going for a soupy consistency here.  Just a nice thick gravy with the beans.

Let the beans cook with the bacon a little while longer, maybe 30 minutes.  Then get ready to add in your peppers.  I add them toward the end of the cooking time so there is less chance that they will just fall apart.  If you need to, remove the veins and seeds.  If not, just chop them coarsely.

And stir them in.  Add your spices, including salt and ground peppers to taste.

After a little longer, check the beans for doneness.  They should be soft and creamy after about an hour and a half to two hours total cooking time.

Serve hot with avocado and tomato slices and warm tortillas or southern (read: non-sweet) cornbread.

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