Spring Hill Ranch's 3-Bean Beans

Wiley P


Nobody ever complains about the beans around here. After all, it is not awfully smart to complain to the cook! But once in awhile I find it wise to vary things around a little.
Those of you that know me know I have an affinity for southwestern and ranch (chuck) cooking out of necessity and for North Carolina barbecue out of family tradition. In my mental search for something new and fresh to do with beans, I decided trying to blend the three into a fusion of beany goodness. I came up with this concoction and we all just love it. At least nobody complains!

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35 Min


2 Hr


Stove Top


1 1/2 - 2 lb
flank or skirt steak, sprinkled with kosher salt and black pepper or with steak seasoning of your choice
6 slice
thick cut bacon (apple-wood smoked if you can get it), partially frozen and then finely chopped
1 large
red onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 medium
chile jalapeƱos, seeded and finely chopped (leave the seeds in for a spicier bowl of beans)
6 medium
cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp
kosher salt
2 tsp
freshly cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp
apple cider vinegar, plus more for optional seasoning at the finish
1 lb
(or a 15 ounce can of) cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
1 lb
(or a 15 ounce can of) cooked kidney beans (with the liquid)
1 lb
(or a 15 ounce can of) cooked great northern or cannellini beans (with the liquid)
1/3 c
molasses (not blackstrap)
2 Tbsp
dark (or light) brown sugar
3 Tbsp
soy sauce (low sodium if available)
1/3 c

Directions Step-By-Step

Note: The flank/skirt steak may be grilled and then chopped into 1/2" pieces, in which case you can delete step #4.
If you choose not to grill the steak, simply chop it into 1/2" pieces at this time and set aside.
In a 5+ quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, render the bacon until it is just starting to crisp, 6 to 7 minutes, stirring as needed.
Remove 1 Tablespoon of the bacon fat and set it aside. Add the onions and jalapeƱos and cook them until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic cook it 1 to 2 minutes. Remove it all from the pot to a small bowl. Set it aside.
If you did not grill the steak in step 1, wipe down the inside of the pot, add the reserved 1 Tablespoon bacon fat and, when it is just starting to smoke, add in 1/3 to 1/2 of the steak and cook, stirring as needed until it is just starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Remove to the vegetable bowl and repeat with the remaining steak.
Once the steak is cooked, deglaze the pot with 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Return all the vegetables and cooked steak to the pot and add in the beans. Add the molasses, brown sugar, soy and ketchup, stirring to combine. Bring the pot to a simmer over low heat, cover and cook it for 2 hours, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes to assure that the bottom doesn't burn/stick. After tasting the results, and if you care to, add in more apple cider vinegar, a teaspoon at a time to your personal taste (I like about a tablespoons-worth). Simmer for about 15 minutes more to allow the added vinegar to blend well.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Other Side Dishes
Main Ingredient: Beans/Legumes
Regional Style: American