Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pinto Beans and "Hot Sauce"

This meal right here is the reason I made homemade flour tortillas yesterday.

These beans and "hot sauce" is another recipe from my childhood. It is a recipe that came from my maternal Grandmother and my mom started making it for us when I was little. It's funny because the original recipe from my Grandma was titled "Chile Verde". I kind of wonder if somewhere along the line someone misread tomatoes for tomatillos because this recipe is basically chile verde with tomatoes instead of tomatillos.

Despite the discrepancy, we grew up just calling it hot sauce.

I changed the recipe a little from the one my mom makes. Mainly the chiles. My mom uses canned diced chiles and I opted to buy fresh Anaheim chiles and roast them under the broiler before adding them to the stew. Canned chiles are okay, but the depth of flavor and additional sweetness from using fresh is definitely worth going to the extra little bit of trouble.

Pinto Beans and "Hot Sauce"
~serves about 8~

Note* You can pretty much use any cut of pork you want for this recipe. Typical choices would be pork shoulder or butt. I have even used lean pork chops with good results. I used pork shoulder steaks here.
Note** To cut up the tomatoes, use a pair of kitchen shears and snip them up right in the can before adding them to the pan.

For the Pinto Beans
1 lb. pinto beans, rinsed, picked over and soaked overnight
2 large onions, peeled and chopped coarse
2 med. or 3 small hamhocks
6 c. water
For the Hot Sauce
1 1/2 lb. Anaheim chilies
2-6 t. vegetable oil
2 1/2 - 3 lb. pork, cut into 3/4 - 1 inch cubes
8 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 serrano chilies, seeds and ribs removed, minced fine
3 T. flour
2 (28 oz.) cans whole tomatoes, roughly cut up
1c. water 
1/2 t. salt
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
pickled jalepenos, chopped, for garnish (optional)

1. For the beans: Add all the ingredients for the beans in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until the beans are very tender and breaking down, about 2 1/2 hours. (You'll need to stir the pot more often the thicker the beans become, to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan.) Remove the hamhocks and let them cool enough to handle. Remove the meat, shred and add back to the beans (there might not be very much meat at all).

2. Make the roasted Anaheim chilies: Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and heat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil, lay the Anaheims in a single layer. Roast until the skins blister all over and blacken in spots, turning occasionally with tongs, about 20 minutes total. Remove to a heat safe bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let sit 10-15 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Peel and remove seeds from the chilies and coarsely chop. Set aside.

3. For the hot sauce: Heat 2 t. oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Add 1/3 of the pork and brown well on first side, 3-5 minutes. Stir pan and cook another minute or two. Remove pork to a plate. Repeat this process twice more, using an additional 2 t. oil per batch (if necessary). (If the bottom of the pan starts to become too brown, between batches you can add a little bit of water and scrape up the fond in the pan and add to the pork on the plate, Then proceed to the next batch.)

4. Reduce heat to medium. To the drippings left in the pan add garlic and serrano chile, cook stirring constantly until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add flour and cook for 1 minute. Add roasted Anaheims and tomatoes (undrained), pork, water and salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Uncover and simmer for another hour, until the pork is fork tender and the sauce thickens and darkens slightly. Serve in bowls, with beans, garnishing with chopped cilantro and pickled jalepenos. 


  1. What a perfect accompaniment to your yummy tortillas. You know how to cook up quite the cinco de mayo fiesta! Yum!

  2. This is probably the most flavorful recipe for beans that I have ever seen. Your plating here is so enticing. That does say a lot since I do live in the land of Tex-Mex food. I like pintos so much-I even went on an onion bean burrito diet once! Saving this recipe-yum!

    1. Thank you so much for the compliment, Tina! :)

  3. wow...looks irresistably hearty & divine
    new to your space
    amazing space you have
    happy following you..:)
    do stop by mine sometime
    Tasty Appetite