Pinto bean recipes are as guarded as brisket recipes in Texas, perhaps more. These Texas Pinto Beans by Doug Scheiding are his original competition recipe, taking home first place multiple times. Fire up these frijoles with confidence at your next family get together or party.
Empty the dry pinto beans into a 5 quart Dutch oven. Cover beans with tap water and then agitate with your hand for several minutes to remove any dust or dirt. Using lid, drain the water.
Add 6 cups of distilled water to Dutch oven and mix in 1.5 tablespoons of Cajun salt. Cover and let beans soak for 3-4 hours.
On the Traeger or stove top, cook the bacon to medium crispy and place on a paper towel to drain. Put the finely chopped onion into the remaining bacon grease and sauté until translucent, approximately 5-7 minutes.
For the Smoked Garlic: When ready to cook, set the temperature to 180℉ and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes. Chop the top off of 8-10 heads of white garlic exposing most of the cloves. Rub exposed garlic with canola oil and dust with Cajun salt. Place garlic on the grill and smoke for 1.5 hours.
Transfer garlic to an aluminum pan or cookie sheet, cover with foil and cook for an additional 60 minutes. Remove garlic and let cool.
Increase the grill temperature to 350℉ and preheat, lid closed.
For the Beans: Remove lid from the beans, remove any loose skins and broken or unattractive beans (this step is only necessary in competition). Then add all the spices (except the Cajun salt), the cubed pork salt, sautéed onions and 2 whole jalapeños.
Take the cooled bacon, remove any burnt parts, then crumble coarsely into the beans with your hands. Lastly add the smoked garlic cloves smashing between your fingers as you add to the beans.
Put the Dutch oven directly on the grill grate and bring to a boil. Cook for 90 minutes, stiring every 30 minutes. Remove the jalapeños after 1.5 hrs, longer if you want added heat. Decrease grill temperature to 325℉ and continue to cook beans for another 60 minutes.
The beans should start to become tender at this time. To thicken the juice into a gravy, tear up 2 slices of crustleass bread into small pieces and add to the beans. Add more bread for thicker gravy and additional Tony’s if needed to salt taste preference.
Stir every 10 minutes, beans should be perfect in 45-60 minutes. Enjoy!
*Cook times will vary depending on set and ambient temperatures.
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