Bean Trio

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 6 hr 55 min (includes soaking time)
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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Ingredients

Best Basic Beans:

1 pound pinto beans, rinsed

5 cloves garlic, minced 

4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped 

2 bay leaves 

1 medium yellow onion, diced 

1 tablespoon kosher salt 

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 

1/4 cup grated Cheddar 

1/4 cup diced red onion 

Tex-Mex Beans:

1 cup jarred jalapenos with juice

1 tablespoon chili powder 

Hot sauce, to taste 

1/2 cup guacamole 

1/2 cup salsa 

1/2 cup sour cream 

Cajun Beans:

6 ounces andouille sausage, diced

2 teaspoons paprika 

1 teaspoon crushed chile flakes 

1 teaspoon ground thyme 

1/4 cup sliced green onions 

Directions

  1. For the best basic beans: Cover the beans with cold water to cover by 1 inch, and soak at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
  2. Rinse the beans and place them in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Top with the garlic, bacon, bay leaves, onion, salt and pepper. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch, then mix and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, then cover the pot halfway (meaning, don't place the lid tightly on the pot) and cook until the liquid is thick and the beans are tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours. (Continue to simmer if it needs more time.)
  3. Serve topped with grated Cheddar and diced red onion.
  4. For the Tex-Mex beans: Follow the basic beans recipe above, adding the jalapenos, chili powder and hot sauce with the bacon and other ingredients. Simmer the beans according to the directions above. Serve topped with a dollop each of guacamole, salsa and sour cream.
  5.  For the Cajun beans: Follow the basic beans recipe above, adding the andouille sausage, paprika, chile flakes and thyme with the bacon and other ingredients. Simmer the beans according to the directions above. Serve topped with sliced green onions.