It’s cold and rainy, a perfect day to reattack Uncle Art’s Beans. This time I’m making them with chuck roast, so at the risk of offending chili purists (and Uncle Art’s family), I’m calling it Uncle Art’s Chili Beans con Carne!
Prepare the beans by soaking them in water overnight. In the morning, rinse the beans, place in pot, cover with can of red chile sauce and equal amount of water, add chopped onion, 4-5 cloves chopped garlic, package of chili pepper. Add smoked ham hock or salt pork. Bring the pot of beans to a low boil.
While the beans are coming to a low boil, heat oil in a frying pan. Dredge the beef in flour and brown it in the frying pan. When the meat is browned add it to the beans.
* I skip the extra flour/polenta, since the meat is already coated with flour.
When beans & meat reach a low boil, reduce heat and let simmer, partially covered, for 2-3 hours.
Note: serve with corn bread.
Update (12/8/09): As I explained in my first Uncle Art’s Beans entry, the actual recipe is a closely-guarded secret and my version is an approximation at best. But I must be getting closer, as evidenced by this note from a member of la famiglia:
Looks delicious.The pic for this batch looks spot on. According to Uncle Art’s three daughters (the three D’s), Uncle Art used chuck (or other suitable stew meat) and smoked pork shank. The shank is boiled for a few hours till off the bone tender and then meticulously defatted. It is then added to the cauldron. He never added flour or polenta. I used to follow this recipe until I wanted a pure homemade chili beans. I skip the (beloved) canned Las Palmas. Instead I go to the Mexican market and purchase dried New Mexico chilis. Toast them in a bit of oil, soak in water for a few minutes, then pulverize in a blender. Food processors are too weak for this. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Bam. Chili sauce, homemade. I’m hungry, when’s the cook-off?