Recipe Texas Ranch Style (pinto) Beans Recipe

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by tacmotusn, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    This is a knock off recipe of the canned version, which is commonly found in the grocery stores of the Southwest. The Origin of which dates back to the days of cattle drives and chuck wagons. A young lady from the southwest and displaced to the Northeast could not find these anywhere there. After much trial and error she came up with this recipe, and claims it is everything the canned version is and if possible even more. I guess you who are familiar with the canned version will just have to try it and give it the taste test. Here is the recipe.
    The recipe of the canned version is a closely guarded secret, so I was flummoxed on what to do. And then I read one fan’s observation that Ranch Style Beans are simply pintos swimming in a chili gravy. At last, it all made sense! I decided I’d cook a pot of pintos in a chili gravy and see what happened. When making my chile gravy, I used the ingredient list on the back of my remaining can as my guide. Sure, there were some vague terms, such as “spices” and “natural flavor,” but the basic building blocks were in the open: tomatoes, chile peppers, paprika, vinager and beef fat. And of course, pinto beans.


    Even though the can didn’t specify what type of chile, I went with anchos as they’re the base of your common chili powder. I rehydrated the anchos and then blended them with some tomatoes, vinegar, cumin and paprika. And instead of beef fat, I opted to use beef broth instead.

    While the beans cooked, the house smelled gorgeous and the broth tasted right. But it wasn’t until after a few hours when I ladled out a bowl that I realized that this bowl of beans far exceeded my expectations. I threw in some sour cream, warmed up a flour tortilla and had a most satisfying meal. And even though it’s been 15 years since I gave away those beans, I’ve often wondered if the New Yorker who ended up with them enjoyed them. I hope that they did.

    Ranch style beans
    16 oz. of dried pinto beans
    6 ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
    6 cloves of garlic, minced
    1 onion, diced
    1 15 oz. can of tomatoes (or 2 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled)
    1 teaspoon brown sugar
    1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
    1 teaspoon paprika
    1 teaspoon cumin
    1/2 teaspoon oregano
    1 cup of water
    6 cups of beef broth
    Salt and black pepper to taste

    Soak the beans covered in water—either overnight or the quick soak method in which you place the beans in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat and let sit for one hour.

    Drain the soaked beans.

    In a cast-iron skillet heated up to medium high, cook the anchos on each side for a couple of minutes (or until they start to bubble and pop), turn off the heat and fill the skillet with warm water. Let them sit until soft and rehydrated, which should happen after half an hour or so.

    In the pot you’ll be cooking your beans, heat up a teaspoon of canola oil and cook the onions for ten minutes on medium. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Throw the cooked onions and garlic in a blender and add the tomatoes, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, paprika, cumin, oregano, water and hydrated ancho chiles. Puree until smooth.

    Add the pinto beans and beef broth to the pot and stir in the chile puree. On high, bring the pot to a boil and then cover; turn the heat down to low and simmer for two and a half hours, stirring occasionally. At this point, I check my beans for tenderness as depending on the freshness of the beans I find that the cooking time can be as short as two and a half hours and as long as four hours. When you're satisfied that the beans are done, salt and pepper to taste.

    Feeds four to six.

    Notes: If you can’t find dried ancho chiles, you can substitute either ancho chile powder or regular chili powder. I’d use 1/4 of a cup. These are not fiery beans, but if you want a bit more heat I'd throw in a bit of Cayenne. And I always add a pinch of baking soda to my soaking beans to help with digestion issues. You may do the same
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
    Ganado, DKR, 3M-TA3 and 4 others like this.
  2. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    Is this a recipe for off grid, natural gas creation? If I ate that, you could light me up like a blow torch and cut steel if you didn't pass out first.

    Note to self: avoid recipe.
  3. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Monkey+++

    Thank you Sir! I'll get the beans soaking tonight, and do the cooking in a slow cooker while I am in town tomorrow doing the grocery shopping, they'll be ready when I get home.
  4. Ladyhawke

    Ladyhawke Monkey+

    I will also be trying these on my day off. I love new recipes, and I thinking will try it in the slow cooker
  5. Ladyhawke

    Ladyhawke Monkey+

    I made them in the crock pot overnight and had a bowl when I got into work this morning. I am from new England and have never tried the canned, but I would make this again because they were really good. I would next time keep a few of the chilies with seeds because I like the extra heat.
  6. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I made these finally last night. They were excellent, And yes Nighthawke, with 2 of the chiles I included the seeds. It was not too hot, but had a nice kick. Once I had the beans close to ready, I uncovered them to allow them to thicken a bit, and added 2 lb of good smoked sausage cut into 2 inch chunks. Then I started the SW cornbread (with real bacon bits, red bell pepper, chopped onion, sugar, cayenne, sharp cheddar cheese). When the whole shebang was done we ate like starved hogs. Wooooeeee it was good. Belch! Later gas masks, and bic lighters were the "Uniform of the Day"
  7. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    instead of just adding anchos with seeds, chop 2 chipotle peppers into the beans. Gives it a nice smokey heat and adds some umph to the beans without overpowering everything.
  8. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King |RIP 11-4-2017

    I'm soaking the beans tonite and will probably add a jalapeno just because I add them to things and maybe some bacon for the same reason.
  9. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I have absolutely no problem with anyone changing any recipe I submit. I do it all the time. I only ask you make it your's and no longer attach my name to it. I will steal a recipe, and make it mine in a New York minute. In my opinion, a recipe, any recipe book, is like a sex manual. It's fun to read, and is fun to try, but it is not an end all for all things on the subject. It's just a good place to start. Do what feels good to you with the recipe, and enjoy! .....
  10. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Got mine going in the crock pot as I type this. Starting to make the house smell GREAT!

    Thanks for the recipe.
  11. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Made a great pot of beans a couple of weekends ago.
  12. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey

    Ancient thread, but worth revisiting. Texas Ranch Style Beans are my favorite and used every time I make my own Chile. Stores out here in Antifastan keep re-merchandising as buying habits change and prepared meals are taking over. Things you use to make your own food are giving way and many of my favorite cooking "building blocks" have already disappeared. I can still get these, bur the shelf space has gone from 4 cans to two, and sometimes they are out, so the writing is on the wall.

    Thanks @tacmotusn for reverse engineering this recipe. I will be trying it soon.
    Ganado likes this.
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