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.


Carolina Style Mustard BBQ Sauce

Let me see some hands! Who’s ever had Pulled Pork in South Carolina, or parts of Georgia? Okay, raise those hands high! So those of you who did, what’s the most distinctive difference between Carolina Pulled Pork and everywhere else? You! Way in the back! Speak up I can’t hear you. What? Bingo!!! That’s right, South Carolina and parts Georgia use a yellow mustard based BBQ sauce.

Mustard based BBQ sauces were developed by German immigrants who came to the region in the 18th Century. They were used to that type sauce back in Germany, so they brought it with them. Well, everyone in that part of the country cooks a lot of pork. I mean a lot of pork. And those German immigrants combined their mustard sauces with the pulled pork and an amazing transformation occurred! That smoke cooked pork, already an amazing taste treat by itself, moved up to an alternate plane of existence! The bite of the mustard and the fruitiness of the apple cider vinegar combined to make an awesome sauce that made the pork shine like gold, okay the yellow mustard accounts for the gold color, but it still shines!

Our sauce is based on several recipes. I couldn’t find one I really liked, so I combined two. It’s sweet, tangy, and has a bit of a bite to it. This stuff was designed specifically for Pulled Pork, but is pretty good on anything you would put mustard on. We have people who put it on hot dogs and rave about it. There is also a growing number that dip their french fries in it. But, seriously, it doesn’t matter what you put on, it’s just plain good!

Caroline Style Mustard BBQ Sauce

Makes 2 cups

1 cup yellow mustard, any inexpensive yellow mustard will work

¼ cup honey

¼ cup dark brown sugar

¼ cup apple cider  vinegar

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

¼ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon cayenne

Combine everything in a sauce pan large enough to hold it. Whisk everything together until well combined and put on heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer about 10 minutes or until reduced by 25%. Cool, bottle in a squeeze bottle, and refrigerate. Avoid the temptation to use it for 24 hours, so the flavors can blend together.

If the sauce sounds like something you want to try, but you don’t want to make it yourself, come on in and you can put it on anything on our menu!

Smokin’ Will’s

821 N Roselle Road

Roselle, IL 60172

Phone – (630) 980-2333

Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce

So, today we added Pulled Pork sandwiches to our menu here at Smokin’ Will’s. Wait! What? What’s Smokin’ Will’s? Where’s Smokin’ Will’s? Why am I just hearing about Smokin’ Will’s now?

Smokin’ Will’s is a hybrid Hot Dog Joint/BBQ Shack. We’ve only owned the place since May 6, 2011 and we’ve been feeling our way about, since. Smokin’ Will’s is the start of fulfilling my dream to serve BBQ to the masses! Hear that, masses? I expect you all to be lining up in long lines to just get a whiff of the BBQ! You’re just hearing about it now because things are starting to fall into place for us. We have  Facebook page (Smokin’ Will’s. Go ahead & push like. You know you want to) and a website soon to follow. Tee-shirts have been designed and a menu is being written to incorporate the BBQ to the Hot Dog menu. It’ll be completed shortly.

Okay, back to the Pulled Pork sandwich special.  You get a large Pulled Pork sandwich, large fries and large soda for $7.49. Very good price, if you check around, and it’s a good sandwich (modesty keeps me from telling you that it’s AWESOME). I’ll tell you how to cook the pork later because I want to tell you how to make the sauce. This is really good sauce. It’s sweet, smokey, thick, and spicy. And it’s made right here at Smokin’ Will’s!

There are several types of BBQ sauce that work well with pulled pork: Golden Mustard style (made with, you guessed it, yellow mustard), Vinegar based, and Kansas City style.

Odds are that if you like real BBQ, then the sauce you’ve put on your Q has been a Kansas City (henceforth simply KC) style sauce. Do you like KC Masterpiece? How about Sweetbaby Ray’s? Ever eat at Famous Dave’s? If you like those sauces then you like KC style sauces. They are, by far, the most popular type of sauce. You can go to the store and pick up a bottle of KC style sauce cheap, but you’re reading this because cheap and easy isn’t really fun, is it?

You’ll need to assemble some spices and a nice sauce pot to make this lovely stuff. The ingredient list is below:

Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce

Makes about 4 cups

2 cup ketchup

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons molasses

4 tablespoons dark corn syrup

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon minced onions

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pot large enough to hold them. Put on heat and cook until reduced by 1/3. Cool and refrigerate before using.

There, wasn’t that simple? The only thing that’s more simple than that is driving over to Smokin’ Will’s, where the sauce is already made and there’s pulled pork to put it on!