Barbecue Cowboy Beans

BBQ Cowboy BeansBeans, beans the more you eat, the more you….well you know the old saying.  Luckily if you are a bean fanatic like my husband you can develop a tolerance to the not so nice after effects of a bowl of beans.  Seriously, if you eat beans regularly your body will become accustomed to the complex sugars which cause the gastrointestinal distress associated with beans.  Soaking dried beans, either overnight or by the quick-soak method, also reduces the amount of complex sugars, especially if you thoroughly rinse the beans after soaking.

This is a really simple recipe and only requires a few ingredients.  The most important of which is the barbecue sauce.  You really want to use a quality sauce, either store bought or homemade.  Whenever we drive to Dallas to visit family, we always wind up in east Texas at dinner time.  Luckily, there are two great barbeque restaurants near Kilgore to choose from.  Crazy Bob’s BBQ is a bit of a dive but has the best barbeque sauce and pinto beans.  Bodacious Bar-B-Q has excellent brisket and really good sauce that you can buy for cheap.  For this recipe I used sauce from Bodacious Bar-B-Q.  For those that aren’t in the know, Texas barbeque sauce is smoky and slightly spicy with only a minimal amount of sugar.  But feel free to use your favorite sauce, just remember that a sweet sauce will give you a sweet side dish.  This recipe can also be made easier by substituting canned beans.  You will want to use 3 (15.5 ounce) cans of rinsed and drained pinto beans.

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Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili with Beer

Chili.  The word alone makes my mouth water.  We love it in all forms, with or without beans, with chunks of beef or ground beef, white chicken chili, meatless, stove cooked, slow cooker style, etc.  Really, the possibilities are endless.  This will undoubtedly be the first of many chili recipes I will post.  Although I indicated in the title that this chili is for the slow cooker, you can easily make it on the stove in a 5-6 quart pot, just let it simmer over low heat for 2-3 hours.  Beer is not something I use often in chili and I was really pleased with the results.  It turned out that the beer was not overpowering in this recipe and gave the chili a bit of a malty background flavor.  Since the recipe only calls for 1 cup there is a nice big swig (or two) left over for the chef.  The heat level of this chili is easily controlled with spices and if you don’t like much heat at all you can substitute with mild Ro-Tel or canned diced tomatoes.  I used Penzeys regular chili powder which made my batch flavorful but not too spicy.   If you want more heat, feel free to add anywhere from 1/4 – 1 teaspoon of cayenne or ground chipotle pepper or load up on the sliced, pickled jalapeños.  You are the boss of your chili so make it as spicy as you like it.  Enjoy! Continue reading