Cooking Pinto Beans

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A hearty pot of beans is so deliciously simple, and cooking pinto beans is a basic cooking skill that I think everyone should have!  Beans are tasty, filling, comfortable, simple to prepare, and insanely budget friendly.  Pinto beans are also versatile when it comes to serving them.  They can take the backseat as a side dish, or you can make a whole meal out of ‘em.

Seriously, give them a try sometime, you won’t regret it!

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One of the most important steps to preparing pintos from the dry beans is to soak them.  Just pour the dry beans into a pot, cover with water, and leave it alone for 6-8 hours.  Afterwards, I like to pour them into a colander, rinse with fresh water, and pick through the beans to remove any weird bits.

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Now here’s the secret to some extra flavor… I like to cook pinto beans using a big ole hunk of cured salt pork.  You can use half or the whole thing, but I like to keep it in a big chunk, since you’ll be removing this later once the beans are cooked.  You can also use big chunks of bacon!

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Cover the soaked and rinse beans in about 2 inches of water on medium heat.

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Toss in the salt pork, put the lid on the pot (but leave it slanted so steam can escape) and leave it alone for 90 minutes to two hours.  That’s it!  At the end of the cook time you can give ‘em a taste and see if they are tender enough for you.

Once the beans are almost ready, I scoop out the chunk of salt pork and discard it.  I then add some extra salt and fresh ground pepper, adjusting to taste.

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You can strain out the liquid and serve as a side dish, or the beans can be the main event in one of my favorite comfort meals, beans ‘n cornbread!  Just spoons some beans (with some liquid) into a bowl and mash it all up with some fresh, warm cornbread.  Seriously, it’s so good.

What’s your favorite way to make and serve pintos?  Let me know in the comments below!

How to Make Pinto Beans
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Cook time:
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1lb dry pinto beans
  • 6-12oz chunk of cured salt pork
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cover dry beans with water and allow to soak for 6-8 hours
  2. Pour beans into colander and rinse with fresh water. Remove any strange bits.
  3. Transfer rinsed beans into a large pot and cover with 2-3 inches of water.
  4. Add salt pork and bring to a low simmer for 2 hours, or until beans are nice and tender.
  5. When beans are fully cooked, remove salt pork and discard.
  6. Season with additional salt and ground pepper to taste.
  7. Serve with or without liquid as a side dish, or mash up with fresh cornbread.

 

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About Erin

Erin Browne and her husband Matt are the people behind the curtain here at Brownie Bites. Together, they blog about recipes they love, places they go, and things that they do. There are also cute dog pictures. Lots and lots of them. You can follow Erin on twitter @erinbrowne.
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