Cowboy Beans | Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle

Cowboy Beans

Spicy jalapeños, coffee, and ground beef set this Southwestern-inspired recipe apart from other bean dishes. Serve for dinner with cornbread or as a side dish alongside grilled ribs or chicken.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lb 90% lean ground beef
  • 2 (15.5 oz) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can reduced-sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¾ cup smoky barbecue sauce
  • ½ cup strongly brewed coffee
  • 2 tbsp spicy brown mustard


  1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil on medium-high. Add the onion and jalapeños. Cook 5–6 min., until tender, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook 2 min., stirring.
  2. Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook beef until browned, 5–7 min., stirring and breaking up beef with back of spoon.
  3. To Dutch oven, add the beans, barbecue sauce, and coffee. Stir to combine. Heat to a boil on high and then reduce to a simmer. Cook 15–20 min., until thickened and beef is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Stir in the mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste.