Texas Style Beans Recipe with Pinto Beans

High Angle View Of Baked Beans Cooking On Stove
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  • 29 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 24 hrs 10 mins,
  • Cook: 5 hrs
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Texas-style beans are like nothing else. If you're used to baked beans, these are not what you're in for. Texas-style beans incorporate the savory of salt pork, the sweet of sugar, a bit of spice and the heartiness of well-cooked pinto beans to make what can only be called the best way to have beans period. Served as a main dish alongside cornbread, this recipe is a great idea for large parties. 

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups pinto beans, dry
  • 12 cups of water, divided 
  • 1/4 pound salt pork, diced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • dash pepper
  • 2 cans tomatoes, (16 ounces each)
  • 3/4 cup diced green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 drops bottled hot pepper sauce

How to Make It

  1.  In a 2-quart bean pot or casserole, cover pinto beans with 6 cups of water; soak overnight.  
  2. Drain the water from the beans. Cover the beans with 6 cups of fresh water; add salt pork, onion, and garlic to the beans.
  3. Bring the beans to a simmer and cover. Cook on medium-low heat, covered, for 2 hours.
  4. Stir in salt, pepper, tomatoes, green pepper, sugar, and hot pepper sauce.
  5. Cover and simmer on low heat for 3 hours more. 
  1. Serve beans with cornbread squares or hot cooked rice.

Cooking Tips and Ingredient Substitutions

There's an art to Texas-style beans that makes using a bean pot a necessary evil. However, if you don't have a bean pot, you can smoke your beans in a 9 x 13 casserole dish. To bake beans on a wood smoker:

Preheat the smoker to between 250 and 275F.

  1. After soaking overnight, pour the beans mixture into a greased 9x13-inch foil pan.
  2. Cook in the smoker for 30 minutes.
  3. Then, cover the foil pan with aluminum foil and continue cooking for 2 to 3 hours.
  4. Remove aluminum foil cover and transfer beans to a preheated 375F oven for 10 minutes to brown the beans. 

If time is of the essence, you can forego the need for overnight soaking and cut the cook time down to 1 hr 15 minutes by using canned beans, such as Ranch Style Beans. Instead of cooking in a bean pot, you would bake the beans in a pre-heated oven at 375F for 45 minutes after sauteeing the onion, green pepper and garlic with the salt pork for 10 minutes prior. Adding in the tomatoes, sugar and hot pepper sauce with the canned beans just before placing in the oven.

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