From the kitchen of James Parks.
Most everyone who owns a pellet grill from Camp Chef or Traeger is aware that cooking with hardwood smoke makes your hankerin’ for the dinner bell a special event. Add a Dutch oven full of Anasazi beans and the following ingredients, something North of amazing happens. It’ll take about 4 hours to cook/smoke and will feed 8 ranch hands, more or less. This here is what you’ll need:
- Wood-fired Pellet Grill
- 12-inch Dutch Oven
- 1-½ lb. Dry Anasazi Beans
- 12 oz. Thick Sliced Bacon, Apple or Maple Smoked – Heck, use the entire pound of it if you wish!
- 1 horseshoe Kielbasa Sausage – Cut in quarters lengthwise and then cut into quarter-inch pieces.
- 1 med. Onion, chopped
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
- 1 Roasted Jalapeño, seeded and fine chopped – NOTE: Take the five minutes to blacken the jalapeño over a stove burner. This small step makes a big difference. Dang, if you have the courage to call yourself a chili head, use two or three of the peppers.
- 1 cup Carrots, diced – I use a bag of the mini carrots and just slice them fine.
- 3 or 4 Stalks of Celery – Greens attached, sliced lengthwise and chopped.
- 10 oz. Pineapple, tidbits or crushed – In juice not syrup! Drain and reserve juice.
- 1 sm. can Tomato Paste
- ¼ cup Local Raw Honey – Get to know your neighborhood beekeeper!
- 12 oz. Bottle of good brown ale, or substitute Brown O’Doul’s nonalcoholic
- 3 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth – I prefer a combination of both.
Salt and Pepper – Add towards the end to taste. The meats have a lot of salt; the jalapeño has heat.
The evening before, inspect and rinse the dry beans. Cover with water in a large bowl and allow to soak overnight.
Five hours before you wish to serve the beans, start the clean smoker with apple wood pellets. Turn to 400 degrees. Heat a 12-inch Dutch oven over the range top. Dice the bacon and add to pan. Cook for 10 minutes or so, but don’t allow to brown. Add onions, carrots, jalapeño, celery, and bell pepper to pan. Sweat veggies for another five minutes.
Now rinse the beans and add to pot along with tomato paste, honey, beer, broth and pineapple. Place the Dutch oven in the center of the oven rack, uncovered, and turn the temperature to 350 degrees. If your Dutch oven has little legs, put the lid on the smoker grill first and set the pan on the lid. Bake for four hours, stirring every half hour to incorporate the smoke flavor. After a couple of hours, closely monitor liquid level and either add some pineapple juice or bottled water to suit.
In three hours, test for salt and pepper, and add to taste. A half hour before serving, if thickening is desired, take a cup of the beans and mash them up good and add to pot as needed. Now get ready to ladle up the most bang-up, top-notch, tin plate of beans you ever stuck a hunk of cornbread into.
Submitted by James Parks, Ogden IFA Country Store, and originally published in the IFA Cooperator magazine (vol. 83, no. 3) Fall 2017.
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