Saturday, March 12, 2011

Balbina's Portuguese Beans

My mother would make these beans for the Deer Hunters (my fathers friends). We could not wait for them to leave as we would party with cookies, ice cream and what ever else we wanted to eat, and watch something else on TV besides Westerns. Mom would make these beans for their camping trip every year since I was 10.

They are quite easy to make and have a distinct flavor of their own. Serve with hot buttered rolls , French  or sweet bread. Of course some great red wine to finish it off like all Portuguese dishes. It warms the cockles or something strange thing like that. For dessert, frosty grapes.


1 to 2 pounds dry pinto beans
1 package dry GF spaghetti sauce spice mix of choice
1 to 2 cans GF tomato sauce ( 15 ounce size or 2 smaller ones)
1/2 chopped Onion of choice (optional but I always use it)
4 strips of bacon chopped (optional)
Fresh Water
1 Tablespoon Baking soda,


  1. The night before separate pinto beans by sorting away rocks and bad beans. Wash good beans thoroughly and in a very large pot, put washed beans and enough water to cover the beans (by up to 4 inches or so). Add baking soda, (This trick will help to take some of the gaseous effects out of the beans) and soak overnight. (I like to heat the water to boiling, add the baking soda then the beans. Turn off the flame, cover, and let sit over night.) I think this helps to soften the outside skin better.
  2. In the morning over the kitchen sink, into a colander; strain the water away from the beans and rinse. In the large pot add bacon if using, and saute the onion. Add the beans and fresh water. Make sure to add enough water to cover by about 2 inches.
  3. Add the spice packet mix, and tomato sauce and cook until tender and liquid is reduced to  about 1/2 inch from the top of the beans. Depending upon the size of pot and beans it could take from 1 to 4 hours. cook until tender. This is one of those recipes you will have to judge for yourself depending on what type of bean YOU use.
If I remember right, it makes enough for a crowd. This also freezes well and to me tastes better the second time around. This is a great make ahead meal. Enjoy.

Source: Balbina Paul

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