Quick Campfire Pinto Beans
Colorado – specifically Dove Creek, Colorado – stakes the claim to the title “Pinto Bean Capital of the World.” That may be so, but in any case it’s hard to think of a more traditional picture of The West than a cowboy camp with a chuck wagon and a Dutch oven full of pinto beans simmering at the edge of the fire.
When it comes right down to it, pinto beans are good for you and, done right, there are few tastier side dishes to go along with steak, ham, or even chicken. The problem is most recipes take hours, actually days if you include soaking dry beans overnight.
This recipe is among the fastest we’ve seen and is downright delicious. You don’t have to spend days or even hours earning your camp cook cred.
- 1 lb. bacon
- 2 cups sweet yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cans (15 oz) pinto beans, undrained
- 2 cans (14.5 oz) canned diced tomatoes with chiles, undrained
- 3 packets (1.25 oz) fajita seasoning mix
- Fry bacon in 12-inch Dutch oven. Do in batches and set bacon on paper towel to crisp. When cool, roughly chop the bacon.
- When all bacon is fried, remove all but 4 Tbsp. of bacon grease from Dutch oven. Leave the fond, but scrape it all loose.
- Heat bacon grease to just smoking, then add chopped onion and fry for about 3 minutes. Stir often.
- Add the garlic and fry for two minutes stirring almost constantly. Try not to let the onions actually brown, just soften and become translucent.
- Dump in the undrained beans and undrained tomatoes. Stir to combine.
- Bring to boil. Reduce heat and stir in chopped bacon.
- Simmer for at least 10 minutes uncovered. Then cover and simmer as long as you have until it’s time to eat.