Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Robyn Valarik

Yields6 ServingsPrep Time30 minsSoak Time / Slow-cook Time6 hrs 8 minsTotal Time6 hrs 38 mins
AuthorJEFFREY LEHANE, LONE JACK, MISSOURI SUNSET

Reader Jeffrey Lehane of Lone Jack, Missouri, likes his beans blazingly hot: He adds as much as 1/4 cup chipotle chile powder and 4 fresh jalapeño chiles to a batch. We’ve toned it down a little (and it’s still quite spicy), but feel free to follow Lehane’s path of fire if you like. Serve with warm cornbread–and a cold bottle of Fat Tire.

How to Make It

1

Sort and rinse beans, put in a large bowl, and add enough water to cover by at least 3 in. Soak overnight.

2

Drain beans and put in a 5- to 6-qt. slow-cooker along with ham hock. Add ale and chicken broth. Beans should be just covered with liquid; add water if needed. Set cooker to low.

3

Toast chile powder and cumin in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Scrape spices into slow-cooker and cover.

4

Cook bacon in same pan until crisp, then drain on paper towels. Drain all but 1 tbsp. drippings from pan. Add onion and jalapeño and cook until onion is lightly browned. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, a few seconds. Crumble bacon and oregano into onion mixture, stir, and add to slow-cooker along with tomatoes. Cover and cook until beans are tender, 6 to 8 hours.

5

Serve beans in large, deep bowls topped with shredded ham, green onions, and cilantro.

Ingredients

 3 cups dried pinto beans (1 1/4 lbs.)
 1 ham hock (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
 1 bottle (12 oz.) Fat Tire Amber Ale or other Belgian-style ale
 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
 1 tablespoon ground cumin
 2 thick slices bacon (about 1 1/2 oz.)
 1 large onion, chopped
 1 jalapeño chile, chopped
 2 garlic cloves, chopped
 1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
 2 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
 Kosher salt
 1/2 cup sliced green onions
 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Directions

1

Sort and rinse beans, put in a large bowl, and add enough water to cover by at least 3 in. Soak overnight.

2

Drain beans and put in a 5- to 6-qt. slow-cooker along with ham hock. Add ale and chicken broth. Beans should be just covered with liquid; add water if needed. Set cooker to low.

3

Toast chile powder and cumin in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Scrape spices into slow-cooker and cover.

4

Cook bacon in same pan until crisp, then drain on paper towels. Drain all but 1 tbsp. drippings from pan. Add onion and jalapeño and cook until onion is lightly browned. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, a few seconds. Crumble bacon and oregano into onion mixture, stir, and add to slow-cooker along with tomatoes. Cover and cook until beans are tender, 6 to 8 hours.

5

Serve beans in large, deep bowls topped with shredded ham, green onions, and cilantro.

Fat Jeff’s Fat Tire Beans