SMOKEY pinto bean chili. What a difference a couple of ham hocks can make to a pot of chili. I had cooked up a pot of pinto beans and ham hocks to make refried beans, but then I opened the refrigerator and spied a few things that needed to get used. Namely I had some crushed tomatoes and most of a large can of enchilada sauce. Without a whole lot of thought I started dumping things into the crockpot and pretty soon the most marvelous thing happened: smokey pinto bean chili. Oh yeah, baby.
I know that I already have a chili recipe on this site, but seriously, this is my new favorite chili. You just can’t go wrong when you go with smokey flavors. Of course, that is just my personal private biased opinion.
As always, if you plan on using dry pinto beans, remember to let them soak over-night before cooking. Cook according to instructions in #2 below. Do not add salt or tomatoes to beans until they are cooked. Very important. The beans will stay hard if salt or tomatoes are added to them before they have finished cooking.
Smokey Pinto Bean Chili
Recipe by Terri @ that’s some good cookin’
- 1 pound dry pinto beans or 6 cups prepared pinto beans or 3 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
- 2 (10-ounce) cans red enchilada sauce
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1-2 pork hocks
- 1 tablespoon regular chili powder
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (in the spice isle at the grocery store–I used McCormick)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
- If using dry pinto beans, wash and pick-over beans. Soak over-night in a large container with enough water to cover the beans by at least 2-inches.
- Next day: pour off soaking water and rinse beans. Place beans in large pot with enough water to cover the beans by 2-inches. Bring beans to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer beans until tender, about 2 hours (longer if beans are old). Pour off cooking water. Set beans aside.
- In a large frying pan, cook crumbled hamburger, onions, and garlic until hamburger is cooked through and onions are translucent. Sprinkle with a little salt while cooking.
- Add cooked hamburger, onions, garlic, tomato puree or crushed tomatoes, enchilada sauce, pork hocks, chili powders, salt and black pepper to taste.
- Simmer over low heat on stove for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Or, cook in a slow cooker on low for 5-6 hours. Cooking times are approximate…it’s chili, it’s flexible, it’s ready when you say it’s ready.
- Remove ham hocks from chili; cool, remove meat, and chop into small pieces to add back to chili if desired.
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