When I’m motoring out to Central Texas barbecue’s legendary smokehouses I do not eat side dishes.

People fly to Texas from all over the globe to eat at the smoked meat temples of Smithville, Taylor, Lockhart and Luling.

It ain’t for the potato salad.

Side dishes for the storied meat houses of lore are typically an afterthought.

As they should be.

Would you rather the focus be on the brisket or the cabbage?

There’s only so much energy a cookhouse has for what they’re putting on table. I want that force of will to concentrate on the meat, not the potatoes.

But when I throw a big brisket on the smoker at the house, I also fire up the cook pot and make a kettle of pinto beans to serve with the meat. Pintos in pork stock with lots of jalapenos and bacon.

Ingredients

4 quarts Stock, Pork, recipe:

How to make pork stock

2 lbs Beans, Pintos

2 lbs Bacon, Cooked til crisp and chopped

10 each Chiles, Jalapenos, Cut into slivers

2 each 12 oz Cans Tomatoes, Whole, Peeled, Pureed in blender

Method

* Add two pounds pinto beans to four quarts of pork stock

* Bring to boil

* Cook at boil for two hours

* Reduce to simmer

* Add bacon

* Cook one hour more

* Add tomatoes and jalapeno slivers

* Simmer one hour more or til beans are tender

* Adjust flavors with salt and pepper

If there is a barbecue restaurant in the Central Texas canon that makes beans even remotely this good I’d love to hear about them

Bon appetit y’all

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