the appetizer:

The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond, includes cowboy recipes like Beans; Skillet Cornbread; and Rib-Eye Steak with Whiskey Cream Sauce.




Makes 8-12 servings



Do you ever allow yourself to experience the wonderful simplicity of a big ol' pot of beans? Honestly, there are few things more fundamental than placing dried beans in a pot of water, cooking them, and serving them to hungry souls. If life ever gets to be too hectic—if the twenty-first century ever starts to infringe upon my peace—I just throw a pot of beans on the stove and all my cares and concerns instantly melt away. Beans are magical like that.

You can do so much with a pot of cooked pinto beans: make refried beans for burritos (so much better than the canned stuff). Add them to a pot of homemade chili, or adorn a big platter of nachos.

  • 4 cups dried pinto beans
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch slices
         (or you can use salt pork, ham hock, or diced ham instead)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

Optional Seasonings

  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Oregano

Optional Garnishes

  • Sour cream
  • Fresh cilantro chopped
  • Red onion
  • grated cheese
  • Pico de Gallo (page 16 of the book)


1. Rinse the beans thoroughly, then place them in a large pot with the bacon. Pour water over the top.



2. Use enough water to cover the beans by 1 or 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 2 to 3 hours.



3. If the liquid seems to evaporate too quickly, add more water during the cooking process.



4. The beans are done when they're tender, without much bite.



5. Add in the salt and pepper. Stir and taste, adjusting the seasoning as necessary. Add in other seasonings as desired.

Serve in a bowl with cornbread, topping with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of cilantro, if desired.

  • from:
    The Pioneer Woman Cooks
    Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl
  • by Ree Drummond
  • William Morrow Cookbooks 2009
  • Hardcover; $27.50; 256 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0061658197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-470-19753-0
  • Reprinted bypermission.

Buy The Pioneer Woman Cooks


The Pioneer Woman Cooks


This page created April 2010

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