Monday, March 24, 2008
This is a family recipe from Number One's grandma, Annaley. Unfortunately I didn't get to meet her, I've heard she was quite a lady. And with recipes like this as her legacy, it's easy to believe.
Spring always brings these beans to mind, as we are lucky to eat them at least once at this time of year, at the annual Bull Sale. It's coming up this year on April 12. We just couldn't wait until then for Prairie Fire, we just had to make some!
2 quarts pinto beans
2 small or 1 large ham hock
2 cups grated onion
1/2 lb. butter
1 lb. grated sharp Cheddar cheese
2 large cans diced chili peppers
6 large garlic cloves, diced
1 Tbsp. diced jalapenos (more if you like it fiery)
salt and pepper to taste
Pick over and wash pinto beans.
Soak beans in cool water overnight. Drain.
Add ham hocks, and add water to cover beans. Cook until beans are soft and water reduced (pour off excess water). Remove ham hocks.
Add: onions, chili peppers, garlic, jalapenos, butter and salt to taste.
Cook slowly until onions are soft.
Turn off heat and add grated cheese.
Keep warm, serve.
*This time, I did things a bit differently. First, I fried the onions in a bit of lard, perhaps 3 Tbsp. or so (I didn't measure). I gently fried them for about 10 minutes, until they were nice and browned. Then I added the beans, ham hocks and water. Then I did everything else the way it's listed up there. And they turned out perfectly.
**Note: this recipe makes a ton of beans. I mean it. I have a huge pot here, full of beans. Annaley used to feed herds of cowboys from her kitchen, you can tell that from this recipe. Good thing we love them!