Cowboy beans (also known as chuckwagon beans) is a bean dish popular in the southwestern United States. The dish consists of pinto beans and ground beef in a sweet and tangy sauce. Other types of meat can be used. The flavor is similar to baked beans but with a southwestern twist. Although cowboy appears in the name, the use of canned beans, ketchup, and barbecue sauce means the dish is unlike anything ranch hands would have eaten in the 19th century. Cowboy beans are served stewed or baked, depending on the recipe.
It is unclear how cowboy beans got their name or where they originated from. They are easy to prepare and variations on the recipe are available on the Internet and in cookbooks and cooking magazines. Cowboy beans use many of the same ingredients as chili con carne with a very different taste.
A typical recipe might include:
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- Fain, L. (2014). The Homesick Texan's Family Table: Lone Star Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours. Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. p. 203. ISBN 978-1-60774-505-1. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
- Byrn, A. (2004). The Dinner Doctor. Rodale. p. 542. ISBN 978-1-59486-092-8. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
- "Old-Time Vittles". Backpacker. September 2000.