Cowboy Beans _lowres

Photo by Cynthia L. Nobles -- Dried pinto beans are used to make Cowboy Beans.

Advocate-tested recipe

Cowboy Beans

Makes 6-8 servings. Recipe is by Cynthia L. Nobles.

1 pound dried pinto beans

4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into ¼-inch strips

½ pound ground buffalo or beef

2 cups chicken stock

1 medium onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with jalapeños (Ro-tel)

¼ cup molasses

1 tablespoon yellow prepared mustard

1 tablespoon chili powder

1½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Rinse beans and sort out any debris. Cover with cold water by 3 inches and let sit overnight. Drain before cooking.

2. In a Dutch oven, use medium heat to render bacon until barely crisp. Stir in buffalo and sauté until brown.

3. Add drained soaked beans and stock, onion, celery, garlic, tomatoes, molasses and mustard. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Lower to a bare simmer and cook, covered, until beans are just tender, about 2 hours. Stir occasionally and add water as necessary to keep from sticking.

4. Stir in chili powder, salt and black pepper. Cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until beans are soft and creamy, about 1 more hour.