My store was out of bacon (and still is...it's totally gone. It happens sometimes with certain things over here. I had some in the freezer but was too lazy to try to use that). I used those real bacon bits in the pouch for this recipe.... those are pretty good. Bacon I cooked myself would have been better, and I already loved this, so I can't imagine how much better it would taste with that instead of the bits. Since I did not cook bacon, I didn't have any bacon grease, obviously, so I just used olive oil to cook my onion. I also used a red onion, since I had that on hand.
The recipe calls for not draining your canned beans, and next time, I would drain one and not drain the other; my mixture was a little too soupy. It was fine, I would just prefer less liquid next time. I saved the rest of my half can of 'maters in a plastic ziplock bag in the freezer, for a recipe later. Use fire-roasted if you can get them; I can't, but it was great with regular. I used petite diced. I left my jalepenos whole, so I could pick them out later and eat them myself (so the kids wouldn't eat them; they don't like spicy).
Cowboy Pinto Beans
adapted from Eating, Etc
4 thick slices bacon, chopped into small pieces
half of a medium onion, chopped
2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
half of a 15oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes in juice (I used reg. tomatoes; freeze the other half of can for later)
2 15oz cans pinto beans (drain one can, leave one undrained)
1-2 pickled jalapenos, finely chopped
sea salt, to taste, optional
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1. In a large saucepan, cook bacon & onion over medium heat until bacon is crisp and onions are tender.
2. Add garlic and stir for one minute. Add the tomatoes and their juice. Cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes. Add beans with their liquid & pickled jalapenos; simmer over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.
3. Adjust seasonings with salt, if desired. Stir in cilantro and serve.
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