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Chuck Wagon Beans

2 lb Dry pinto beans (about 5 cups)
1/2 lb Salt pork; cut in chunks (optional)
2 ts Salt (up to 5)
1/4 ts Black ground pepper

Search beans for tooth-breaking pebbles. Wash beans well with water to remove dust and soak overnight in plenty of clean water or cover beans with boiling water, cover with a lid and let stand 1 hour to soak. Place beans in large Dutch oven, cover with additional water, add salt pork, cover and cook over bed of very hot coals. Kindling may need to be added to coals to start beans boiling. After beans start to boil, cook beans covered over low to medium hot coals. When beans are soft, add salt and pepper to taste, cover and let simmer until ready to serve.

*If salt pork is used, less salt is needed. If salt pork is not used, add 1 teaspoon of bacon drippings or other fat per cup of dried beans to prevent foaming and add flavor.

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