Friday, March 12, 2010

Dove Creek Colorado-The Pinto Bean Capital of the World

It's true! No where should you get your pintos but here! My family has been farming pintos from here since the late 1800's when my Great-Grandfather, Jim Peel came with his family. Thank you Mom for sending me my annual dose of 20+ lbs of beautiful, fabulous, nutritious beans. The family farm is "Sombrero" try and google it.

I am still sick at home and am in need of serious comfort food right now. Nothing speaks to me more than my favorite last meal of a bowl of beans, fried potatoes and Aunt Marcia's cornbread. Because I feel icky, this equates to a ridiculous amount of slow-simmered-over-the-stove pot of pinto beans, which of course, cannot be completed without a smoked ham hock or salt pork. No decent Coloradoan would eat this without! I'm having mooseburgers and skinny fries tonight but thought I would add some baked beans to this fare. I was lucky enough to inherit Grandma Sadie's, "from the Queen's Kitchen: A Collection of Pinto Bean Recipes, from Cortez, Colorado." Copyright 1967. I chose this recipe for baked beans but kind of kicked it up a bit adding grease and a few other things Jim wouldn't approve of. Please know this recipe won the Blue Ribbon in 1961 and was originally created by Mrs. C.C. McAFee from Lewis, Colorado.

3 cups cooked pintos, including about 1/2 cup or more of extra juice (I simmer mine with smoked ham hocks or salt pork---Just like Mama taught me)
1 medium onion, chopped coarse
2 tsp. salt (use your own taster to test that)
1 heaping teaspoon prepared mustard
Black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup molasses (I LOVE this stuff and use the black strap raw)
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 slices of good bacon (I cook it first then chop)
2 TBSP. bacon grease (Please don't tell Jim this is in there! He'd die of a heart attack)

Combine all ingredients into a stoneware pan (if you have one) or a beanpot. Cover with foil or a lid. Bake at 300 for 3 hours. Do NOT add anything after cooking if you're using will break you container!

P.S. many pots of beans did I burn before I learned to do it right?

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