Before I moved to Texas I didn’t know what a pinto bean was. I haven’t lived in Texas for some time but I still have to have my pinto beans. The other day I was in the grocery store meandering as I normally do and found turkey kielbasa on sale for 99 cents. After checking the last sale date (still good) I tossed the sausage into my cart.
A couple of weeks pass and the kielbasa is still in the fridge. I needed to do something with my bargain but what? There was a lively discussion recently about the differences between Tex-Mex, Cal-Mex, New Mexico-Mex, AZ-Mex, and the unfortunate stuff we have where I live…Okie-Mex. I recalled the best bean soup ever from a restaurant in the DFW area. The soup came complimentary with your meal. So I figured I’d just make a pot of beans. I always leave the spicy hot peppers out because some people don’t like their food too spicy. But this pot of beans just needs a lot of jalapenos and Tabasco sauce.
- 1 pound dried pinto beans
- 3 slices bacon, diced
- 1 pound turkey kielbasa, diced
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 6-8 cups water
- 1 tablespoon dried cilantro
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
Rinse and sort the beans. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover and soak the beans for one hour. Drain and rinse the beans. Set aside. Rinse the pot and return to the stovetop.
When the pot is dry, add the bacon and crisp up on medium-high heat. Add the kielbasa and saute for several minutes until browned. Add the onion and peppers and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Pour in the water, deglaze the pot, and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen up the bits of goodness.
Return the beans to the pot and add water to cover. Stir in the cilantro, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, black pepper, and salt. Bring the pot to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and simmer partially covered for a minimum of 2 hours. Check the pot every now and then. Add more water if needed.
Maybe it’s Friday the 13th or something, but I just tasted my beans. Don’t get me wrong, The beans are awesome tasty. But it is not nearly close to Herrera’s out of this world bean soup! Either I keep working on this recipe or just give up. OK, I give up.
Dr. Lee, remember #13a double beans, no rice? Go to Herrera’s. Not even gonna attempt that one.