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Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:41 AM

My recipe for pinto beans

I like making pinto beans and it seems I wasn't making them the same each time. I like using pinto beans as a side dish for BBQ and since I recently bought a pretty nice smoker I wanted to standardize my pinto recipe so I could make them easily without having to think about it much. This recipe is very simple and easy, but it produces very good results. Beans are kind of like a blank slate flavor wise, so the possibilities for different ingredients are endless.

Ingredients:

1 lb of uncooked pinto beans
~3-4 cups water
1 qt stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne or black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 slices bacon
2 Jalapeno or Serrano peppers

Boil about 6 cups of water in a separate vessel. When the water comes to a boil, cover the beans with the boiling water with about 1/4-1/2" above the beans. Add the salt and stir. After 1 hour of soaking, the beans should have absorbed most of the water. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Set the crock pot to low, cover, and cook until the beans are tender. Cooking times will depend on how hot your crock pot is on low and how hard your water is, but should take around 4-5 hours. Season to taste once they are done.

Naturally the problem with beans is flatulence. This is caused by indigestible starches which pass through your digestive track to your lower intestines, where the resident bacteria flora have a field day with them. The increased action from this bacteria produces more gas than you normally would. Pinto beans are not as bad as other types, like lima beans, but the problem is still there. Using large volumes of soaking water, soaking overnight, and tossing the soaking water before cooking will help, because many of the indigestible starches will dissolve into the soaking water and can be removed. I don't like to do it this way because along with those indigestible starches, you're also throwing away nutrients which have also leached into the soaking water. My solution to this problem is very slow cooking and relatively short soak times. Slow cooking will break down those indigestible starches much better than faster cooking at higher temperatures. It also results in a bean that I think has a better texture than those cooked faster.

If I'm multiplying this recipe by at least 2-3 times I will use a smoked ham hock rather than bacon. If you want to go vegan, leave out the meat and use a bit of liquid smoke at the end to taste or flavor with something else (curry powder is quite nice).

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply My recipe for pinto beans (Original post)
Major Nikon Feb 2013 OP
trotsky Feb 2013 #1
Major Nikon Feb 2013 #2
LancetChick Feb 2013 #3
guardian Feb 2013 #4
littlewolf Feb 2013 #5
Kali Feb 2013 #6
NRaleighLiberal Feb 2013 #7
pinto Sep 2013 #12
Coyote_Bandit Feb 2013 #8
BarbaRosa Feb 2013 #9
northoftheborder Sep 2013 #10
Major Nikon Sep 2013 #11

Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:26 AM

1. Your recipe sure sounds good.

Bacon is definitely key to a good batch of pinto beans. Looking forward to giving that a try!

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Response to trotsky (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:35 AM

2. I used maple cured bacon last time

I was ultimately turning the pot into baked beans the next day. I'm not sure I would do this otherwise because it adds a very strong maple aroma to the entire pot.

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Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:43 PM

3. Every so often I'll go on a bean bender, and pinto beans are my downfall.

I cook them in the slow cooker too, except at a higher heat and for longer (up to 10 hours on high), and I use chicken stock as the only liquid and toss a roughly chopped onion in. I've never used bacon, though, but it sounds wonderful! Thanks for the idea.

Invariably the beans end up mashed into refried beans with red pepper flakes, lots of garlic and often chorizo. I can't believe I never thought of adding bacon. Well, that's why I hang out here, I suppose. Lots of great ideas!

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Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:26 PM

4. Sounds good.

 

Though I like to mix cranberry beans in with the pinto beans.

1. half 1 pound bag of pinto beans
2. half 1 pound bag of cranberry beans
3. about 1/4 to 1/3 of a ham steak--get the little round bone in there (or a ham hock if you have one)
4. salt/pepper/garlic salt to taste

Cover and simmer on range top 2-3 hours until done. Keep top of beans covered with water. Periodically stir and add cold water if you need to raise the water level to keep beans covered.

Serve with some good buttermilk cornbread. I also like to eat with that Trappeys Hot Peppers in Vinegar.

Makes a nice sized pot of beans. Plenty for left overs or for making refried beans for Mexican food later in the week.

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Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 03:53 PM

5. sounds very good I like to use pintos with kidney beans

in my chili. But this sounds very good. I will try it.

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Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 03:58 PM

6. beans are a staple around here, I never measure anything

about an inch and a half or so of picked beans, rinsed in the bottom of a large heavy pot (or crock pot)

one onion chopped rough, couple cloves of garlic if I have it

couple slices of bacon or a ham bone (or salt pork)

fill pot with water

bring to simmer/first boil and turn to lowest flame with a slight simmer going

simmer for 2 to 4 (or more) hours depending on age of beans and desired softness. stir occasionally, especially towards end of cook time. if you need to add more water, bring it to a boil and turn heat up under original pot - stir and then turn heat back down - do not let simmer stop or beans never seem to finish cooking

DO NOT add salt (other than what is contained in meat) until beans are done (and maple bacon makes disgusting pinto beans IMO)

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Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:22 PM

7. How does Pinto feel about this recipe?

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #7)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 11:52 AM

12. Looks good to me.

pinto seal of good eats

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Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:04 PM

8. Ummmm.......Look at them beans

2 cups dried pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup diced non-fat ham
1 cup diced onion, pepper, celery mix (or frozen seasoning blemd)
1 small diced roma tomato
1 pinch of baking soda
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
generous dash of hickory liquid smoke
garlic powder to taste

Cover with water and cook until bean are tender. I cook them covered at about 300 degrees. Stir and add additional water as necessary especially during the first hour or so. When finished the beans should be tender with some liquid but not soupy.

The tomato is said to speed the cooking process and the baking soda is said to reduce flatulance. YMMV.

Serve with a salad of mixed spring greens and cornbread. Add some green tomato or onion jalapeno relish.

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Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:27 PM

9. For me,

About a pint of pintos

rinse and soak over night

rinse, put in saucepan, water to cover beans by about an inch or so

1Tbs or so lard, a dried pepper or two

boil hard for 5 minutes, reduce to simmer

after a couple of hours add some salt

simmer till done.

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Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 08:24 PM

10. I cook them long and slow, with no soaking. Do rinse, however. And looks for pebbles.

My best beans have a ham bone cooked in them, but usually just use salt, pepper, garlic, a spoon full of brown sugar, a pinch of dried pepper, or a chopped jalapeno, or a squirt of hot sauce, whatever I have, just a bit of heat for subtle flavor. With cornbread, the recipe cooked in iron skillet without Yankee sugar!

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Response to northoftheborder (Reply #10)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 07:03 AM

11. Prior to washing I dump them out on a sheet pan and check for rocks

I also use different spices and herbs depending on what mood I'm in. The great thing about pinto bean soup is you can mix it up however you like. I also use a ham hock instead of bacon quite often.

With leftovers I often make baked beans or refried beans.

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