We grow a lot of beans in our garden and most of them are for dried beans for winter meals so we are always experimenting with bean recipes. After trips to New Mexico and Mexico we noticed that their baked beans were quite a bit different from typical Maritime Baked Beans which use molasses and brown sugar to create their flavour. The Mexican beans use spices and tomatoes. The beans we use depends on what we have on hand but traditionally they would be pinto beans. The tomatoes we use would be frozen from our summer harvest but you can use fresh or canned.
- 3 1/2 cups dried beans, traditionally pinto beans
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbls oil
- 1 large onion, small dice
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 tbls cumin
- 1 1/2 tbls chilli powder
- 1/4 teas cinnamon
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/2 – 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce deseeded and minced
- 1 teas adobo sauce
- 1/2 teas salt
- 4 cups chicken stock
- Soak dried beans overnight. Drain and add to a pot covering with fresh water. Add bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then simmer until soft. The cooking time will depend on the type of bean and how old the beans are. Check after 30 minutes then every 20 minutes after that. Drain beans.
- Add oil to a skillet or dutch oven and over medium heat add the onion cooking until translucent. Add the garlic and the spices and cook until you can smell the spice. Be careful not to burn the spices.
- Add the tomatoes, chipotle and adobo sauce. Simmer a few minutes.
- Add beans to the dutch oven or slow cooker. If using a slow cooker transfer the contents of the skillet to the slow cooker as well. Add enough stock to fully cover the beans.
- Place dutch oven in a 325 F oven for 4 hours, stirring every hour. The last hour of cooking you can remove the cover if you like you beans thick.
- If using a slow cooker, check your users manual for times.
When traveling in Santa Fe, New Mexico we attended a Farmers Market and bought some chilli powder which was labeled “mild smoky chilli powder”. I believe it to be ground ancho chillis. I find it superior to Canadian chilli powder. Ancho chillis can be found in grocery stores usually in the produce section.