Friday, August 16, 2013

An Old Favorite: Pinto Beans with Green Chile

I'm still here! The last month has been pretty hectic and on a very tight budget, so I haven't been doing much experimenting. Hopefully I will get back on track soon. In the mean time, I want to share a favorite recipe we make about once a month: pinto beans with green chile. This year's chile harvest is coming up soon (thought not soon enough, as this batch of beans used our last bag of chile!), and that means a fresh crop of the spicy, smoky deliciousness that is New Mexican green chile.

Now that I've made my own beans, I rarely buy canned. They are so simple to make in bulk, they freeze well, and dried beans are so much less expensive than canned. You can also taste the love that goes into homemade beans. They will always be more delicious!

Every New Mexican has their own technique and recipe for making beans. The crock pot is my favorite way to prepare beans because I can throw everything together in the morning before work, and when I come home my house smells delicious! I make beans in bulk and freeze them so that we can have burritos any time we want. Traditional New Mexican beans (and sometimes even green chile sauce) are prepared with a smoked ham hock. However, a little liquid smoke and a strong stock are all you really need to give these beans a rich flavor.

Pinto Beans with Green Chile - makes a LOT!
- 2 lbs dried pinto beans (do not use canned!)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped green chile
- vegetable stock, enough to cover the beans (4-6 cups). I prefer the organic "Better than Boullion" vegetable stock.
- 1 tbsp liquid smoke
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- salt to taste

The night before, place the beans in a large bowl and cover with water. Soak the beans overnight.

In the morning, drain the beans and place them in the crock pot. Add the green chile, liquid smoke, and spices. Add just enough stock to barely cover the beans. Cook on low for 5 hours. Stir the beans and add more stock until the liquid just covers the beans. Cook for another 5 hours. Check the seasoning before serving.