I'll throw one out on the table:
These beans were inspired by my friend Tom, who is quite the hand at cooking both inside and outside.
3 cups washed Pinto beans
3 or 4 twice smoked ham hocks (or shanks) (or few strips bacon) (or 1/3 lb salt pork)
1 onion, chopped and sweated.
2 green onions with tops, chopped and sweated
2 split and seeded jalapenos (or serrano peppers), chopped
2 or 3 mild green chilis like Anaheim or Big Jim, roasted, skinned then chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, roasted and mashed into paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 T. dry mustard
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. chili powder “Top Hat” is my favorite
1 can extra Hot Rotel Tomatoes (optional)
1 or 2 t Summer Savory
1 t Epazote
black pepper to taste
salt to taste
Sriracha “hot” chili sauce served at the table.
Cover beans with water and soak overnight. For this years crop, soak about 3 or 4 hours only.
Drain the water off of the beans, put in large pot and cover with fresh water by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Add the ham hocks, onions, garlic, peppers, bay leaf, mustard, Summer Savory, epazote, black pepper and chili powder. The beans can cook on the stovetop or be moved to the cooker, with the lid on but ajar. Add more water anytime during the cook as needed. Lastly, add the Worcestershire and tomatoes and cook for about 30 minutes more. Remove the hocks and pick the meat off of the bone, return to beans. Salt to taste at the end to avoid making the skin on the beans tough.
To reduce heat, use regular canned tomatoes and/or omit the serranos.
For smoky beans, move the Dutch oven into your cooker and remove the cover for the final hour or two, keeping your eye on the liquid level, adding water as needed. (The twice smoked hocks will give the beans a small amount of smoke flavor without extra smoke from the cooker.)