Ranch style beans recipe

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Pinto beans cooked with onion, garlic, chillies and typical Tex-Mex spices such as oregano, paprika and cumin.
Preparation time: 60 minutes, Cooking time: 240 minutes, Serves: 4 - 6 


16 oz. (450 g) dried pinto beans

6 ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced

15 oz. (425 g) canned tomatoes
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup water

6 cups beef broth
Salt and black pepper to taste


Soak the beans in a bowl of water and a pinch of baking soda (this helps with digestion) overnight.

Drain the beans and set aside.

In a large frying pan or cast-iron skillet over medium high heat add the ancho chiles and cook for 1 minute per side or until the start to bubble and pop. Turn the heat off and cover with hot water. Let them sit for 45 minutes to an hour, until they soften up.

In a deep pot over medium heat add the vegetable oil and saute the onions for 10 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more, stirring. Remove from the heat and put the cooked onion and garlic in a blender together with the tomatoes, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, paprika, cumin, oregano, water and re-hydrated ancho chiles. Process until you have a smooth puree.

Return the cooking pot (the one you used to saute the onions and garlic) over high heat and add the pinto beans and beef broth. Add the chile puree and stir well to combine. Bring the pot to a boil, lower heat to a minimum and simmer uncovered for about two hours, or until the beans are ready, stirring occasionally. Note: Cooking time will depend on the beans and can take any time from 2 to 4 hours - check the beans every 30 minutes and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Taste and season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Serve hot with crusty bread.

Notes and tips

You can substitute dried ancho chiles with 1/4 cup of ancho or regular chile powder. You can also add some cayenne pepper to add some more heat to the beans.

To save the overnight soaking, you can bring a pot of water to a boil, add the beans, cover, remove from the heat and let soak for 1 hour.

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