Santa Maria-Style Pinquito Beans


  • 1 lb. Llano Seco pinquito (small pink) beans
  • 8 slices (about 1/2 lb.) Llano Seco Bacon, chopped (ham or ham hock can be substituted)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomato purée
  • 1/2 cup canned red chiles, or dried mild chiles of your choosing, rehydrated a few hours in water.
  • 1 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp stone-ground mustard 
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Pick over and rinse beans. Put in a 6-qt. pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, cover, take off heat, and let stand 1 hour.
  2. Drain beans. Cover with fresh water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, and cook, covered, until tender, anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid along with beans.
  3. In a 5-qt. pot over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp, stirring a few times. Pour off all but 1 tbsp. fat from pan.
  4. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until onions just start to brown, about 4 minutes.
  5. Add tomato purée, red chiles, brown sugar, mustard, salt, beans, and reserved cooking liquid.
  6. Bring to a low boil, stirring often; then lower heat and simmer for about 30 minutes to blend flavors.