Cowboy Beans
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During roundups, cowboys once saved any extra coffee for use in cooking, since water was sometimes scarce. The coffee powder in these beans is an adaptation of that. Add some hot buttered flour tortillas and a crisp salad alongside for a terrific meal.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 cups water
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
3 15- to 16-ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed, drained

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, green pepper, garlic and bay leaves. Sauté until vegetables are almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add chili powder, oregano and cumin and sauté 5 minutes. Mix in water, tomato sauce, sugar and coffee powder. Add beans. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low: simmer until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Before serving, rewarm over low heat, stirring frequently.
Serves 4.
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