Southwestern Chili Beans

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Many recipes like this have come from Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. Although they are similar to one another in some ways, each has character, quality, and originality.

Cooking Methodsauteeing



Total Timeunder 4 hours

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionFamily Get-together, game day

Recipe Courseside dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, high fiber, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free


Taste and Texturegarlicky, meaty, salty, savory, spiced


  • 2 cups (1 pound) pinto beans
  • ¼ pound salt pork
  • 3 tablespoons lard or bacon fat
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • Pinch of ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups tomato sauce


  1. Cook the beans very slowly in water to cover till they are just on the verge of being done. In the meantime try out the salt pork in a large skillet or earthenware dish, add the lard or bacon fat, and brown the garlic and onions. Add the seasonings, tomato sauce, and the beans. Cook very slowly about an hour. Correct the seasoning. The beans should be soft but not at all mushy, and the flavors should be very well blended.

    Chili con Carne con Frijoles (Cowpuncher Beans):

    Add 1 pound each diced cooked pork and beef to this dish, and perhaps a little more liquid.


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