These Recipes Amount To A Hill Of Beans

IN THE KITCHEN

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It's time for the Western Heritage Festival celebrating the American cowboy. Tradition tells us or maybe it is the Hollywood myth that cowboy cooking was fairly limited to beans.

While Texas may have the Dallas Cowboys, Oklahoma has a long and historic association with real cowboys. It has the Cimarron Trail, as well as other trails that accommodated the cattle and cowboys headed to the big stock auctions of the Midwest, so you can bet Oklahoma has seen its share of beans.

Whether tradition or myth, here are some bean recipes out of the "Best of the Best from Oklahoma" cookbook.

Chuck Wagon Beans

1 pound Western dry beans

1/2 cup butter

1 large onion

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon red pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 can tomato sauce

1 can tomatoes

1 teaspoon garlic

1 cup water

1 pound, browned and drained ground beef

Soak beans in hot water for an hour, then cook for 2-1/2 hours. Cook butter, onion, chili powder, paprika, red pepper, salt, tomato sauce, tomatoes, garlic and water in a saucepan. Mix beans, tomato mixture and beef together and cook for one hour.

8 Bean Soup

1/2 cup pinto beans

1/2 cup split peas

1/2 cup small red beans

1/2 cup black turtle beans

1/2 cup red kidney beans

1/2 cup Great Northern beans

1/2 cup lentils

1/2 cup black-eyed peas

3/4 tablespoon basil

3/4 tablespoon chili powder

3/4 tablespoon thyme

3/4 tablespoon dried onions

1/2 tablespoon tarragon

1/2 tablespoon rosemary

1/4 tablespoon black pepper

Pour dry beans into a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Soak beans overnight in water. Pour off water and rinse beans. Place beans in a slow cooker and cover with water. Add herbs and cook on low heat until tender.

Southwestern Pinto Beans

1 package, 16 ounces, pinto beans

1/2 pound bacon, cut up

2 cups chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cans, 8 ounces each, tomato sauce

2-3 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon cumin

Rinse beans well. Soak overnight in six cups of water, do not drain. Cover; simmer beans for 3 to 3-1/2 hours until tender. In larger skillet, cook bacon, onions and garlic over medium heat until bacon is crisp. Do not drain. Add bacon mixture, tomato sauce, chili powder, oregano, salt, pepper and cumin to beans and stir well. Simmer, uncovered an additional 20 to 30 minutes. These are good as a main dish. They can also be used as a burrito filling, or can be served over cooked white rice and topped with your favorite shredded cheese.

Crazy Beans

8 slices bacon

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 to 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 cup vinegar

2 cans butter beans, 15 ounces each

1 can lima beans, 15 ounces

1 can kidney beans, 15 ounces

2 cans pork and beans, undrained, 15 ounces each

Fry bacon; remove, drain and crumble. Add onion, sugar, salt, mustard and vinegar to bacon drippings. Stir, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Drain butter, lima and kidney beans; place in 2-1/2 quart casserole. Add pork and beans, bacon, onion mixture and combine well. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover casserole and bake for an hour.

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