1 lb. pinto beans
4 oz. pancetta or thick cut bacon, diced
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup maple syrup
½ tsp New Mexico dried red chile powder (hot), or more to taste
½ tsp Dijon mustard
Salt to taste
Wash the beans and place them in a large pot, cover with water and soak overnight.
The next day, drain and refresh the water. Place the pan on high heat and bring to a boil. Skim any scum that forms and lower the heat or place in a low oven, around 240 degrees.
When the beans are almost done, slice the onion in half and remove the outer skin. Heat a large frying pan and place the onion halves in the pan, flat side down. You want to sear and almost blacken the onion. Add the chile pod to toast it. Add the diced pancetta or bacon with a dash of olive or vegetable oil and cook until crispy. Remove from the heat and set aside.
When the beans are done, drain but reserve the cooking liquid. Place the beans, onion, whole chile, chile powder, molasses and maple syrup in a casserole dish with the beans. Pour enough liquid on top to cover the beans. Reserve the remainder of the liquid in case you need to top it up.
Place in a low oven – about 240 degrees and cook for four or more hours, until the beans are tender and sauce is thick and rich. Add the mustard, taste, and season with salt and more chile powder as desired.
Note: you can make the beans a day ahead and gently reheat them before serving.