Monday, February 22, 2010

Cowboy Beans

I don't know about you but, growing up, beans were a weekly occurrence around our house (I wasn't a fan), and if you asked my husband he might exaggerate and say that they had to eat them every day! (though I'd guess he's not exaggerating much) As a child, there's nothing fun about a bowl full of stupid little beans... boring, blah, yuck! But, beans have great nutritional value, they are inexpensive and easy to make, and now that I am grown up I can appreciate them.

I've had many opportunities to eat beans at his parent's house. One version my mother in law makes is cowboy beans. She cooks onion and ground beef and then adds it to the pot of beans along with a can of rotel. I've taken that idea and doctored it up into something not only palatable but delicious and oh so easy! Of course if you're feeling particularly productive that day you could fry up some cabbage and potatoes to round out the perfect comfort meal!!

Cowboy Beans

1lb bag dried pinto beans
1lb meat (See choices below)
1/2 can rotel (again, see below)
1 tbsp salt (plus more to taste)
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
8-12 cups water
Rinse and sort beans (yep, I've found rocks in there before). Then put everything in a crock pot, give it a stir and turn on low for 8-10 hours. When you get home dinner is magically ready and you can spend more time on the stuff you love... like blogging!!
Meat choices: Steak, brisket, sausage, ground beef w/onions, etc.

Note: Any time we eat steak, brisket, or BBQ... you can pretty much guess what we're having for dinner the next night. Also, when I find hamburger on sale I'll buy at least 10lbs, pre cook it (some with onions, some without) and separate it into 1lb bags to freeze. Perfect for meals like this!

Rotel: a whole can of rotel is a little too spicy for the kids so I use half and put the other half in a small freezer bag for future use... such as chicken spaghetti.

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