Cowboy Pinto Beans

1 1-lb package dried pinto beans, sorted and rinsed
6 Slices bacon
2 lg Onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tb Dried oregano leaves
1 tb Chil1 powder
1 ts Salt
1 ts Ground cumin
3 c Water
1 can (15-oz) tomato sauce
1/3 c Firmly packed light-brown sugar

In a large bowl, place beans and add water to cover 2 inches above them; set aside to soak overnight. Or, to quick soak, place beans and water in a 5-quart Dutch oven. Heat to boiling over high heat. Boil beans for 2 minutes, Remove from heat. Cover and let beans stand 1 hour. After beans have soaked, drain in colander and rise with cold water.

Cut bacon slices across into 1/2-inch lengths. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy kettle, cook bacon until crisp and browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel to drain. Discard bacon fat, reserving 2 T.

Heat reserved bacon fat in the same Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and saute until softened about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, chili, salt, and cumin; cook for 1 minute. Add drained beans and water; cover and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; simmer beans until tender but still firm-about 45 minutes.

Add tomato sauce and sugar to beans; increase heat and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook beans, partially covered, until sauce thickens-about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer beans to a serving bowl and sprinkle with bacon.


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