Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ranch Beans

The other night I made brisket for dinner.  Usually,  I will make some Baked Beans to go with my brisket, but I decided to try some Ranch Beans.  You have probably seen them in the canned good section in your local store.  I do admit they are good straight from the can.  I decided, however, I would try to make my own from scratch.  Beans really aren't that hard to cook.  The challenging part in this recipe was to devise a sauce that was spicy but not too spicy.

So the cooking project began.  I started by soaking a pound of dried pinto beans over night.  The sauce came together nicely.  Instead of roasting chilies and grinding them up, I used chile powder.   The chile powder was blended together with some sauteed onions, green chile, diced tomatoes, Mexican Oregano, garlic, and some water.   I put the beans and the sauce in a Dutch Oven along with some beef broth.  I brought them to a boil and then covered and simmered the beans for about 3-31/2 hours until they were tender.  I wanted my sauce a little thick so I partially covered the pot during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Not bad for a first try.  The beans were very flavorful and not too spicy.  The next day, I made some bean and cheese burritos with the leftovers and the beans were fantastic the second day.  My daughter ate a cup heated up and she thought they were better the second day.  Next time, I am going to cook them the day before.

Ranch Beans
From The Homesick Texan Website adapted by From My Southwest Kitchen

16 oz. of dried pinto beans
1 Tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
1 onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz.) can of diced tomatoes
1 (4oz) can diced green chile
1/4 cup red chile powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon Mexican Oregano
1 cup of water
6 cups of beef broth
Salt and black pepper to taste


1. Soak the beans covered in water overnight.
2. Drain the soaked beans.  Set aside.
3. Heat oil in a Dutch Oven  and cook the onions for ten minutes on medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or until fragrant. Place the cooked onions and garlic in a blender and add the tomatoes, green chile,  chile powder, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, paprika, cumin, oregano,  and water. Puree until smooth.
4. Add the pinto beans and beef broth to the Dutch Oven and stir in the chile puree. On high, bring the beans to a boil and then cover; turn the heat down to low and simmer for three and a half hours, stirring occasionally. At this point, I check my beans for tenderness and 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.  If you want a thicker sauce partially cover the pot during the last 30 minutes of cooking.  When you're satisfied that the beans are done, salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 6 servings


  1. Brisket with ranch sounds like a great comfort meal!