Hot Sweet Pepper Relish and Spicy Pinto Beans

6:50 PM
Hearty, flavorful Pinto Beans cooked with Mexican-style seasonings make a great side dish,  with cornbread and topped with hot sweet pepper relish!

I just read or heard on a food show that it has long been said that pinto beans originated in San Antonio and some refer to them as "Cowboy Beans". I don't know all about that, all I remember is that my mother cooked a lot of them when I was growing up in the 60's, so delicious, and I never got tired of them! Many a time they were the main course on our dinner table with a pan of cornbread and Chow Chow.

Mother would put a pot of beans on her stove first thing in the morning , and cook them all day, adding enough water through out the day to keep them from burning. She cooked hers with bacon, ham bone, or salt pork, depending on what she had. (I can just see my Mother now, standing at her stove, stirring a pot of beans. Her stove was an avocado green color, any one remember those? Sorry, got caught up in the memory).

In recent years, I cook Spicy Pinto Beans with taco seasoning mix in my crockpot. This recipe is way too many beans for Jim and me to eat even if we had them leftover all week.   So I always take two cups out of the crockpot as soon as the beans are ready and put them in the freezer for when I get ready to make my 8 Hour Chili. 

These beans remind me of a homemade ranch style bean flavor. Every once and awhile I will have a ham bone and cook them with it or just add a few slices of bacon, and I have also added Eckerd Sausage to them. Instead of eating them with Chow Chow, we now eat ours with a wonderfully delicious Hot Sweet Pepper Relish as you can see in the picture along with some Mexican Cornbread.

This recipe came about with having an abundance of banana peppers, bell peppers, and jalapeno peppers in the summer from my Mother in law's garden. Someone gave her the recipe and we have been making some every summer since.  We eat it on just about anything, but mostly on Pinto Beans, Purple Hull Peas, and our all time favorite, Lady Cream Peas!

Hot Sweet Pepper Relish & Spicy Pinto Beans

Ingredients: Hot Sweet Pepper Relish
  1. 1 qt. bell peppers, seeds removed, minced*
  2. 1 qt. banana peppers, seeds removed, minced*
  3. 1 qt. jalapeno peppers, seeds in, minced*
  4. 1 qt onions, shredded*
  5. 1 tablespoon canning salt
  6. 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  7. 1 qt. vinegar
  8. 1 qt. sugar

Ingredients: Spicy Pinto Beans
  • 1 hambone (optional)
  • 1 16 oz. bag pinto beans
  • 2 pkg. (or 4 tablespoons) taco seasoning mix
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can 10 oz. Ro Tel tomatoes (optional)
Directions: Hot Sweet Pepper Relish
Mix all ingredients together and place in a large saucepan on medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil and take off the heat. Do not boil. Ladle relish mixture in sterilized jars.

To sterilize, place a dish towel in a sauce pot, and fill halfway with water. Turn the jars upside down in the pot in the cold water, and bring to a boil. Boil over medium heat for 15 minutes. At the same time, boil the lids, rings and the ends of your kitchen tongs in another pot for 15 minutes.

Never ever touch the inside or top of the jar or lid with your bare hands. Use the tongs for the lids, and kitchen towels for the jars.

Fill the jars. Take another kitchen towel and dip an end in the boiling water and wipe the top of the jar very clean. Place the lid on with the tongs, being careful not to touch it. Then take the tongs and get a ring, you can place the ring with your hands.

When all jars are filled, place the filled jars in the saucepan with the kitchen towel and boil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool on the counter overnight.

Directions: Spicy Pinto Beans:
Clean beans by pouring them a handful at a time into a strainer, picking out rocks, dirt clumps, and rotten-looking beans, then run water over the beans, moving them around with your hand.

Place the clean beans and a hambone if using one in the crockpot . Add onion, Ro Tel tomatoes, and taco seasoning.

Add enough water to cover 1/2-1 inch above the beans. Stir well, cover the pot, and cook on high until beans are very tender, about 5 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Note:  To save time from mincing vegetables by hand, I use my food processor. I use red, yellow, and green bell peppers to make it colorful.

Kay Little
Kay Little

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