Cowboy Pintos

So, have ya’ll missed me? I’ve sure missed you. Owning a restaurant can, and does, consume your life and time. Smokin’ Will’s opened May 6th and started selling BBQ on June 13th. Right now we have Brisket, Pulled Pork, and Smoked Chicken Breast sandwiches and salads with your choice of meat and dressing. We’ll be adding a Texas Sausage, Baby Back and St Louis cut ribs, and whole Smoked Chicken soon.

We’re also adding sides to the menu. We’ve added coleslaw, sweet potato fries, and Cowboy Pintos. We’ll be adding potato salad soon and might be adding corn bread. We’ve kept french fries and all the possible combinations like cheese fries or chili fries.

What I want to talk about right now is Cowboy Pintos. The beans, not the horse or the car. Okay, so ya’ll get the horse, right? But, car, Will? Huh? Remember the Ford Pinto? It was an underpowered, but somewhat sporty compact from Ford, trying to capitalize on the popularity of the Mustang. They made lots of ’em. Okay, so what does this have to do with Cowboy Pintos, you ask? Well, just like Ford, we make Pintos, Cowboy Pintos, and we make a lot of them. And like the Ford, our Pintos are sporty and have some zip.

Honestly, when we started adding BBQ to our menu, I couldn’t wait to add these beans. They belong with BBQ. When I think of the perfect BBQ meal, I think of Brisket or Pulled Pork on a good bun, creamy coleslaw or potato salad, and beans. Beans show up everywhere with BBQ.

There are tons of bean recipes out there. Some use kidney beans, black beans, white beans, and combinations of the above. There are many styles of beans, as well. We call ours Cowboy Pintos, because they’re very simple and very much like the mess of beans you might have been served on a cattle drive. Simple and filling, with lots of flavor, and not like any other beans you’ll find out there.

Now, some of you love beans but they don’t love you. You know who you are and you know what I mean. Well, our beans don’t produce much of that infamous side effect because we know how to cook them properly. Beans contain oligosaccrides, very complex sugars that don’t break down very well until they hit your large intestine, where bacteria break them down, producing, as a by-product, gas. There are commercial products that can be ingested with beans to counter the gas, but the best, and simplest way is to cook them properly in the first place.

To cook beans properly is very simple: put beans in a large container with water to cover by 4 inches , soak over night in the refrigerator. Pour water off and add as much water as recipe calls for. The important thing to remember is to pour off the water you soaked them in. That water contains a very large percentage of the oligosaccrides and you sure don’t want to use it to cook in.

Cowboy Pintos


1 lb dried Pinto beans, soaked overnight and then drained

8 cups cold water

12 oz Dr. Pepper (okay so on a trail drive this would be molasses, but I love Dr. Pepper)

14.5 oz can of crushed tomatoes

2 medium onions, chopped

4-5 slices thick cut, smokey bacon, chopped

3 Tbsp Chili Powder

2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tbsp Ground Cumin

4 cloves garlic, minced

3-4 fresh serranos or jalapenos, or combination, chopped

Burnt-ends of Brisket (that wonderful, dark, crunchy part of the brisket with so much smokey/beefy flavor) to taste

Salt to taste


Soak beans over night in the refrigerator. Drain beans and discard water

Add everything but salt to pot, heat to boil, reduce to simmer. Reduce until thickened, but still soupy, adding salt toward end of cooking time.

These beans are great right out of the pot the first day, but for the best results cool them overnight and reheat the next day. You’ll be glad you did, since all the flavors combine and meld together overnight. They’re a perfect accompaniment to your summer grilling or any time of year. Easy to make and great tasting. Or, perhaps you want these Cowboy Pintos but don’t want to go through the hassle. Come on over to Smokin’ Will’s, we’ve usually got a pot of these ready to go.