This formula is as close as I can get to the manna served at Snow’s without putting you in the pickup and driving to Lexington, TX. These are Texas barbecue beans, not “barbecued’ because no smoking is involved. Serves 8-10.
1 lb. dried pinto beans (about 2 3/4 c)
8 oz. bacon ends and pieces (about 1 1/2 c) OR 8 oz bacon, finely chopped
2-4 T Toné or other mild chili powder*
1 t Kosher salt
Method: soak the beans overnight in ample water (much more than enough to cover them in the pot) OR bring to the boil, turn off the heat, and allow to soak for one hour. Meanwhile, render the finely chopped bacon in a large pot until it is crispy and a good amount of fat has been produced. If there’s not a lot of fat, add a tablespoon or two of bacon grease. Pour the beans and their water into the bacon pot (so you don’t lose any of the grease), stir in salt and chili powder.
Cook over low heat for an hour, adding more water as needed, then taste and correct the seasoning. (I would start with 3 T chili powder and expect to add the fourth T). Continue cooking and adding water until beans are tender but not soft, about 2-3 hours total. You can serve immediately, though these beans are even better the next day.
*I was pleased to find that substituting a store brand chili powder produced a taste very close to that I got with Toné, the brnd used at Snow’s.