These are not my traditional beans, but they are pretty close. Mostly what I have done different with this batch was add brisket. Usually my beans just consist of bacon and sometimes salt pork. I will have to say this turned out to taste more like a brisket bean chili. Probably because I added tons of brisket and brisket fat. This definitely isn’t the healthiest thing I have ever made. You may need to hop on a treadmill after eating a couple of bowls of this, especially if you include sweet cornbread. I mean how can you not….it’s cornbread. And trust me you will not be able to eat just one bowl of these beans….brisket or no brisket. You must add bacon…..always add bacon….
Here is what I started with when making my beans.
First, I like to cook my beans in a slow cooker. I cook them on the stove when I need them faster. Most of the time though I thoroughly enjoy making beans, which leads to me loving the all day process of slow cooking. I showed the scissors in this picture because I feel like kitchen sheers are the top of my list of favorite cooking utensils. They make chopping bacon so easy! Back to the beans..
Drain, rinse, and pick out all of the rocks in the beans. Chop up some bacon and mix them in with the beans.
Cover the beans by quite a few inches with whatever you choose.
Water, chicken stock, broth, beef broth or stock. Or just a combination of them all. One thing to remember is watch your salt content. Which is why I usually choose water or unsalted stock. Plus I do not like salting my beans until the end.
From this point I cover the crockpot and let the beans cook for about 3 hours on low. I usually check in every so often to make sure my liquid level was not to low.
One thing to remember is if your liquid level is too low on your beans, do not put cold liquid in it. My sink has really hot water so I just let the water heat up and use that.
Your beans will turn really dark and split open if you add cold water to your beans halfway through cooking. Always make sure it is hot.
From this point you will start preparing all of your vegetables for the next step.
I use a sweet onion, bell peppers (whatever colors I have on hand), jalapenos and/or serrano, fresh garlic, tomatoes, and cilantro (not pictured). This time around I used a can of diced tomatoes, fresh roma tomatoes are my favorite. Any tomato product will work, just make sure they are diced. I have used rotel in a pinch as well.
When I first started to learn my way around a kitchen, my mother showed me how to dice an onion. Believe it or not I fell in love with chopping vegetables. I find it to be a very Zen like moment for me =)
Start by cutting the ends off the onion, the tip and root. Just enough to slice the end off, not too much.
Cut the onion in half lengthwise and peel off the outer skin. It will look like the picture above.
Place the onion half face down with the root end facing away from you. Cut vertical strips down the onion spacing them only a little bit apart. You will want to leave the end of the root intact when cutting, so it holds together and not falls apart.
Make two cuts horizontal through the oven, still not cutting all the way through and leaving the root intact to keep it together. Depending on the size of the onion will decide if you make two or one cuts on this step.
Turn the onion 90 degrees and cut the onion from top to bottom, working your way from right to left. You then will have a perfectly diced onion!
Next up dice your bell peppers. Chop the tops off of the bell peppers by the stem, and down the sides of the peppers. Remove seeds and discard. Slice the bigger pieces of the pepper into strips, then cutting the strips until it is diced.
I usually keep a paper plate behind my cutting board for all of the discard of the vegetables.
Slice the tops off of your jalapenos, and then the peppers in half. I am showing you this picture because I decided to leave the stems and seeds in one of the jalapenos. They are the hottest part of the pepper. I was not sure who was all eating my beans this go around so I made them a little less spicy. I normally love adding 4 or more peppers ranging from jalapenos to serranoes and leaving the seeds and stems in. I LOVE LOVE LOVE spicy food though, so do whatever you are comfortable with.
Cut the jalapenos into strips, and cut the strips into small dices. I combine all of my prepped vegetables at this point in one container until I am ready to use.
Next mince up some garlic, this will go in the same container as the tomatoes. I was shamelessly using a can though, so less work for me….yay!!
Now at this moment in time. My beans have usually been slow cooking for about 3 hours on low. Or however long your slow cooker takes to make them almost soft.
One thing I love love love about slow cookers, is that I am able to walk away. I was headed to my parents house and ran into my brother. Long story short my boyfriend and I met him at a local Mexican food restaurant having brunch on this lovely Saturday. I may had had a margarita and coffee…..yes yes I did.
Back to the beans. When I got back to the house about 3 to 4 hours later my beans were getting soft.
Pictured above are all the ingredients I add to the next few steps of the recipe. Starting in the bottom left hand corner with the bacon and brisket fat going right, and ending in the top right hand corner with the tomatoes and garlic.
I just so happened to have in stock at my house bacon, brisket fat, and leftover brisket….you can use whatever you like at this point. Sometimes I just use all bacon. Sometimes ground sausage, ham, or just whatever you are feeling up to really.
In my favorite thing ever, a cast iron skillet, I heated it up on medium heat and through in the diced bacon and diced up brisket fat. I let that cook down until it started to turn brown in color. Once it started to turn brown I through in the chopped brisket and let that cook just for a minute or two. I did not get a picture of this part.
I then added the onion, and peppers to the skillet with a little bit of kosher salt. Side note…kosher salt is my favorite salt to use.
After the onions and peppers have cooked down until almost soft, I add the tomatoes and garlic.
At this point I will start to add seasonings.
These are the seasonings I use in beans, you can also add cayenne or crushed red pepper if you are out of jalapenos or spicy peppers. I like to add some of the seasonings to my veggie meat mixture when cooking. I find seasoning my food in layers through the entire cooking process ends up with a much better result. I added about 1/2 teaspoon of all the seasonings at this step. Minus the kosher salt. I added that when I first through the onions and peppers in.
Cook this entire mixture down until everything is soft and deliciously blended together. Don’t rush this step, I look to cook all of this down kinda slow. If you have people in your household at this point they will start flocking to the kitchen wondering what you are making. This mixture in itself is so good, you could probably add it to a variety of things. Tacos, soups, enchiladas, quesos, dips….the list goes on.
Add the entire skillet to your slow cooker of beans. I add chopped at cilantro at this step as well, but I do not have it pictured….yummmmmm just typing all of this is making me want to go heat beans up!!
Cook everything for about another hour or more on low in your crockpot. Add more of the seasonings I pictured above to the crockpot to your taste. In the recipe I list how much I added. Keep adding though and tasting until you get it to the point that you like. I usually tend to add more cumin then anything else.
Cook up some sweet cornbread and serve yourself a bowl because you are done!!!!
Leave them in your crockpot on serve and eat them throughout the day. Store them in the fridge and use the leftovers to make refried beans. Add a bunch of ground beef and some more stock and make a beef and bean chili. The possibilities are endless.
I hope you enjoy!
Brisket and Bacon Beans
- 1lb dried pinto beans
- 1 package of bacon (small to medium package) about 10 slices
- chopped brisket fat
- chopped brisket
- 2 bell peppers, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 jalapenos, chopped (deseeded if desired)
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 can of diced tomatoes, or 4 to 5 roma tomatoes, chopped
- chicken stock to cover
- chopped cilantro, 1/4 cup or to taste
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1.5 teaspoons paprika
- 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1.5 teaspoons onion powder
- 3teaspoons black pepper
- kosher salt to taste
Rinse, drain, and pick out the rocks from your beans. Place in slow cooker with half package of sliced bacon.
Cover beans with chicken stock about 3 inches over. Do not let water get to low.
Cook beans in slow cooker on low for about 3 to 4 hours. Until beans start to get soft.
Chop all vegetables while waiting for beans to cook
Heat large skillet to medium heat. Add rest of chopped bacon and brisket fat. Cook until it starts to turn brown in color. Add the chopped brisket and cook for just a few minutes.
Add the chopped onions and peppers and cook until they start to turn soft. Once soft add the chopped tomatoes and garlic. Add 1/2 teaspoons of all the spices. Cook until everything in skillet is cooked down and soft.
Add all ingredients to the slow cooker and mix in with the beans. Add the chopped cilantro and the rest of the spices. Spice the beans to taste with what you like.
Cook for about another hour or two until everything is melded together. Make some sweet cornbread while you wait.
Serve the beans with warm cornbread and you will never want to make any other beans ever again 🙂