Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ranch Style Cowboy Beans

Ranch Beans, known also as Chuck Wagon and Cowboy Beans, are made with pintos and slow cooked with a slight southwestern flavor twist.
Ranch-Style Beans, known also as Chuck Wagon and Cowboy Beans, are made with pintos and slow stewed with southwestern flavor.

Ranch Style Cowboy Beans

Ranch beans have been around a very long time, in fact, I'm pretty sure that some form of them probably date all the way back to pioneer days and wagon trains, and in this version they are very often referred to as Chuck Wagon or Cowboy Beans.

When I think of these beans I can't help but to think about that scene around the campfire in the movie Blazing Saddles! You know the one.

Well, thankfully, I think the presoak and changing of the water may well help to tone that down, but the reason I called them husband pleasin' beans has nothing to do with that! It is because of a brand of beans called "Ranch Style Beans" made by ConAgra Foods who, a few years back, used to actually have "Husband Pleasin'" on their labels.

In fact, ConAngra Foods claims to trace the origins of its Ranch Style brand of beans all the way back to 1872, though they were not introduced though mass marketing to the general public until 1934.

Nowadays, I guess to be more appropriate and politically correct, it now says "Appetite Pleasin'." Well I rather like the husband pleasin' and I can guarantee you that The Cajun loves 'em, so that's what I called 'em!

Now, I can't say that this recipe is anything like the canned ranch beans but what I can say is that this is a delicious and hardy bean meal, with a slight southwestern twist, and it is also easy on the pocketbook. If you prefer less heat - because the Rotel tomatoes definitely give this dish a spicy zing - just replace the Rotel with a can of regular diced tomatoes instead. Here's how to make them.

Soak beans overnight, drain and rinse. You can also use your Instant Pot to do a "presoak" cook, and frankly to cook them too! See instructions at the bottom of the recipe. Return to the pot and add 8 cups of fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until tender.

Meanwhile, cook ground beef or sausage until browned; drain off excess oil and add the onion, bell pepper and garlic, cooking another 2 minutes. Add beans and all of the remaining ingredients except for the tomatoes; simmer for 30 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer another 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Please note, step by step are pics from an Instant Pot cook. See directions at the bottom of recipe.

I usually eat this alone, with some cornbread, like you would chili, but The Cajun likes them served with rice.

Ranch Beans, known also as Chuck Wagon and Cowboy Beans, are made with pintos and slow cooked with a slight southwestern flavor twist.

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Posted by on February 10, 2009

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