Traditional Tejano Beans

These Traditional Texan Pinto Beans are the perfect blend of Southern and Mexican. A versatile side dish with a bit of a kick.

Traditional Tejano Beans

Ingredients
  1.  4 cups dry pinto beans
  2.  12 cups water (12 cups for stovetop version; see crock pot instructions for water amounts)
  3.  2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed (or 1 tablespoon garlic powder)
  4.  1 medium or large onion, very roughly chopped
  5.  1 tablespoon sugar
  6.  1 teaspoon good quality chicken bouillon
  7.  1 or 2 jalapenos, left whole, but with a slit cut on two sides
  8.  1 ham bone or ham hock*
  9.  Salt and pepper to taste
  10.  fresh lime wedges, to garnish

Instructions
STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS:
  • Rinse the dry beans in a colander. Put them in a large stock pot and add 12 cups water.
  • Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a medium-low simmer.
  • Add the garlic, onion, sugar, chicken bouillon, jalapeno/s, and ham bone. Bring to a boil again and then reduce the heat to medium low.
  • Simmer on medium low with the lid on but vented. (Tilted so that it's not sealed) Stir occasionally.
  • Cook for 2-3 hours. After about an hour and a half, add salt so that it can absorb into the beans as they finish cooking. I added somewhere between 2-3 teaspoons, but taste as you go. The beans will continue to absorb the salt as they finish cooking, so be cautious.
  • Continue cooking until the beans are tender. Taste them ; if the beans are still hard or chalky, keep simmering. Don't wait until the liquid has cooked off so much that they look like refried beans--you want plenty of bean gravy.
  • Remove the ham bone and discard (if there is any meat on it, chop it and add it to the pot).
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh limes.