Farmworkers' Chile Soup, Rosebud Texas 1906
My grandmother passed this recipe on to me by feeding it to me every other time I visited (aternative visits I was served chicken and dumplings). She said she learned from the farm workers on her father's farm who cooked it in a huge pot over an outside fire all day.
2 Smoked Hamhocks (or more according to how much meat you want in the mix)
1 large Onion
1 bag Pinto Beans (other beans (kidney, red, etc) can be substituted)
Chile Powder (Gebhardt's for real Texas nostalgia)
Saute the onions in the oil adding the hamhocks early enough to brown the outside without burning the onions. Add the beans (no need to soak in my experience) and enough water to cover beans and hocks with about an inch extra. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer and leave for about an hour.
(Do not add salt yet! It makes the beans take much longer to cook). Add water as needed to keep everything immersed.
Add chile powder to taste (anything past 2/3 of a large bottle is for masochists only, but be sure to add enough to give a rich color and taste).
Cook until beans are tender. Remove hamhocks and strip the meat off. Return the meat to the soup. Add water to create a more soupy consistency than typical chile. Heat until hot enough to serve.
It's very easy.
Serve with corn bread, dark molasses and butter -- what do you see going down mole holes? (sorry) (Brer Rabbit is traditional in my family). Even if you have always hated molasses, I assure this taste combination will change your mind -- well maybe.