1 pound dried pinto beans*
Chicken or vegetable broth
½ pound salt pork
1 pound fully cooked smoked country ham or pork shoulder butt, cubed**
1 large onion, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper or chili pepper (adjust to personal tastes)
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1 minced jalapeño chili
Hot pepper sauce
Cider or white wine vinegar
Sopping bread (Sourdough, Italian, French, Rye, Pumpernickel or your personal favorite)
Directions for cooking dried beans:
Place dried beans in a large Dutch oven.
Add enough water to cover by 3 inches. Boil 2 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Cover and let stand 1 hour.
Return beans to Dutch oven.
Add enough broth (vegetable, beef or chicken) to cover by 2 inches. Bring to boil.
Reduce heat to medium. Simmer until beans are tender and liquid thickens, stirring frequently, about 3 hours. Test beans to be certain they are done. Else continue cooking until done.
Directions for main dish:
Add salt pork and bay leaf to beans in Dutch oven.
Heat a frying pan. Add just enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the frying pan. When the oil shimmers, add onions and saute until translucent. Do not brown.
Add to beans. Add all remaining ingredients, except Sides
Season beans with salt and pepper.
Cook for one hour, making sure the beans do not go dry. Add broth as necessary.
If you are on the trail, serve with sides.
If at home, cover and chill fat least 4 hours. Bring to simmer before serving with sides.
Cook’s Note: This dish is great re-heated for up to three days.
A vegetarian version uses the vegetable broth and omits the meat and Worcestershire Sauce.
*or 38 ounces tinned pinto beans
** There is controversy over the use of nitrates to cure meats. Do your research and come to your own conclusion. This recipe can be made without meat and tastes great.