posted on Sep, 2 2018 @ 06:07 PM
Cowboy Beans, one of the all-time favorites (and one of my favorites too)!
Beans settled the Frontier, they did. High in protein and portable without spoilage. The things you can do with some beans are endless!
There are probaby 10,000 recipes for Cowboy Beans...here's mine:
I use a 15 or 16 bean variety, you can get them in the grocery store. Pintos, LImas, Great Northerns, Blacks, Anisazi's, and many more.
Dried beans (1/2 of a package or roughly 1.5 cups) (NOTE: this recipe is for 2-3 people, you can easily double it...more on that at the end)
2- Jalapeno peppers diced
1 - yellow onion diced
3 - Tbs of fresh green cilantro, chopped
1 or 2 - ham hocks, smoked
2 - large clove of garlic, chopped
4oz - Jimmy Dean Hot Sausage (not Italian), browned.
1/2C - Rotel roasted tomatoes and green chilies, drained
1/4C - Ketchup
4 - Pheasant breasts sliced and browned (you can use 1-2 breasts of chicken (I just have a freezer full of pheasants and quail)).
1 - Ear of fresh corn, cut off the cob
1-2 solid dashes of Cajun seasoning (not Cowboy, but it's dang sure good in this dish!)
Salt and black pepper to taste
In a dutch oven or cast iron pot cover the beans with a couple inches of water. Add the ham hock, onions, jalapeno, one clove of garlic and cilantro.
Bring to a good boil and boil for solid 30+ minutes. (keep an eye on the water level to make sure it stays over the beans. Add more if necessary).
You actually want it to reduce some, just not enough to expose the beans.
In a skillet brown the sausage and the pheasant (or chicken), a little chopped onion and the other clove of garlic. Set aside.
Remove and strain enough liquid to add the meat and maintain the same level in the pot. Add the Cajun seasoning, the Ro-tel, the ketcup, the maters
and stir. Then add the meat, and stir again. get everything mixed up good.
NOTE: the ham hocks will still be on the bone, just make sure you've got room in the pot. You're going to cover it soon, so make sure you've got
it reduced enough to not constantly boil over. (In a frontier campfire, this wouldn't matter, but on the stove it makes a mess).
NOTE: I add some canned Jalapenos right here, (drained of course) (I like peppers...those who don't can leave this part out)
Shuck the ear of sweet corn and cut the kernels off the cob onto a cutting board. Add the corn to the pot.
Cover and simmer (near boil) for about 90 minutes.
When the ham hocks are falling off the bone it's time to EAT!!
Cornbread goes nice with this dish, but for me just the beans are awesome! It's like a chili that doesn't taste like chili. It's smoky, rich, its
got bird in it, sausage in it, smoked ham in it...and lots of delicious beans in it. The beans have soaked up all those flavors, and it's
If you make this for friends and/or family, I guarantee there won't be any left after the take-aways!
P.S. So why is this an "Old West" Cowboy dish??? Well, at the turn of the 19th Century everyone had beans, but beans got boring. One bean tastes
like another, so people learned to add things to beans. They added what they had, what they could hunt locally, or whatever else was laying around.
In reality "Cowboy Beans" is really "Whatcha Got Stew"...and THAT is what makes it the best beans of all! This is just a nice variation on