Rodeo Beans was based on Matthew McConaughey’s rodeo cowboy character, Ron Woodruff, in Dallas Buyer’s Club. This is a simple, inexpensive recipe, made in the crock pot, that could be a meal in itself. It also works well as a side.
Here’s the recipe:
1 (16 oz) bag dried pinto beans
2 Tbls. neutral-tasting oil, such as canola or vegetable
1 large onion, finely diced
1 (12 oz) package bacon, cut into small bite sized pieces
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1/4 – 1/2 cup pickled jalapenos, finely chopped
For Garnish (optional)
Queso Fresco, crumbled
Cilantro, finely chopped
Pickled jalapenos slices
Pour beans into a colander and rinse. Look over beans and make sure they are clean and free of any stones or dirt that might have made its way into the bag. Place beans and approximately 2 quarts (8 cups) of water into a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
Once boiling, carefully transfer the beans and water into a slow-cooker. Add oil, onion, and season with about 1/2 tablespoon of salt. Cook for at least 6 hours on high, although you can leave for a few hours more. I’ve also had success cooking them on low for 10-12 hours if that works better for you.
When beans in the slow cooker are ready, cook the bacon in a large pot over medium/medium-low heat until crisp, stirring to avoid burning. Once bacon is crispy, remove some of the bacon grease, leaving only about 1 tablespoon in the pot. Don’t throw away that liquid gold! Store in refrigerator for future use.
Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the can of fire-roasted tomatoes and a pinch of salt, and with a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan from cooking the bacon. Let mixture cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the beans with a slotted spoon, and then add enough of its cooking liquid to cover the entire mixture. Add the pickled jalapeño (1/2 cup will definitely give you a nice kick, so use less or more according to your spiciness threshold) and simmer on medium-low for about 20-30 minutes. Taste and season with more salt if necessary.
Serve in bowls topped with crumbled queso fresco, pickled jalapeños, and/or cilantro.
Cowboy Beans can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. They reheat very well in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
Recipe from Shared Appetite