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    Texas-Style Ranchero Beans

    Source of Recipe

    From "The Southern Living Party Cookbook" by Elizabeth Heiskell

    Recipe Introduction

    "These beans are very different from the sweet baked beans that are served at backyard barbecues. The smoky flavor from the cumin is unforgettable and has a distinct Texas taste."

    List of Ingredients

    ◦ 1 pound dried pinto beans
    ◦ 4 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
    ◦ 6 cups water
    ◦ 1 tablespoon canola oil
    ◦ 1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion (about 1 medium onion)
    ◦ 2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves garlic)
    ◦ 1 teaspoon paprika
    ◦ 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    ◦ ½ teaspoon dried oregano
    ◦ 1 (14.5-ounce) can whole peeled plum tomatoes, undrained
    ◦ 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
    ◦ 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
    ◦ 4 teaspoons kosher salt
    ◦ ¾ teaspoon black pepper
    ◦ Tortillas or tortilla chips (optional)


    Place the beans in a large bowl, and cover with 2 inches of water. Let stand at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight. Drain.

    Heat a large saucepan over medium-high. Add the chiles, and cook, turning occasionally, until the skins start to bubble and pop, about 2 minutes per side. Microwave 2 cups of the water in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup on high until hot, about 2 minutes. Transfer the chiles to a bowl, and cover with the hot water. Let stand until rehydrated and pliable, about 30 minutes.

    Add the oil to the saucepan, and heat over medium-high until shimmering. Add the onion; cook, stirring frequently, until softened and tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, cumin, and oregano; cook until the garlic is tender and the spices are toasted, about 1 minute. Transfer the onion mixture to a blender. Add the chiles, tomatoes, brown sugar, and vinegar. Remove the center piece of the blender lid to allow steam to escape. Secure the lid; place a clean towel over the opening in the lid, and process until smooth.

    Transfer the chile purée to a large Dutch oven. Add the beans, remaining 4 cups water, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil over high. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until slightly tender and creamy, about 2 ½ hours. Uncover, and continue to cook until the liquid thickens to a sauce-like consistency and the beans are tender and creamy, about 30 minutes. Serve hot with tortillas or tortilla chips, if desired.

    Serves 8




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