Cowboy Beans

Cowboy Beans

2 1/2 pounds dry pinto beans

1/2 pound ham or salt pork, cut into chunks

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 teaspoons Mexican oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

6 to 20 chile pequeños, mashed

2 teaspoons lemon juice or salt, to taste

The night before, wash beans and place in large kettle. Add water to half-filled kettle.

The next morning, bring beans and water to boiling over medium heat, stirring to keep from burning. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 5 hours, uncovered, letting beans “pack” (cook together) but adding boiling water as necessary to keep beans covered.

After the first hour, add ham or salt pork.

After the second hour, add garlic.

After the third hour, add oregano, cumin and chiles.

After the fourth hour, add lemon juice or salt. Beans will be ready to serve after fifth hour.

Serves 10 to 12.

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