Pinto beans and cornbread. Yum. It’s a comfort food here in the South. What’s not to love about pintos? They’re cheap, easy to cook, and filling! You can use them as a side dish or a main dish… serve them as a soup or mix them up and make a batch of the ever-popular refried beans.
Pintos are typically cooked on the stove, simmering all day getting good and soft… but I’ve learned you can make an equally yummy batch right in your crock pot! The only thing you have to remember when cooking any beans is a bit of planning… soaking the beans overnight is the best way to go.
So, the night before, put two cups of dried beans in your crockpot container. Sift through them a bit and take out any shriveled up beans or rocks that may be in the beans. Cover the beans with water, and cover with the lid. DO NOT COOK THESE. They just need to soak. Leave them in there overnight.
In the morning, pour the water off the soaking beans. Add to the pot 1 box of chicken stock, 1/2 an onion, chopped in a few chunks, 4-6 cloves of garlic, 1 jalapeno, seeded & cut in half, 1 T. cumin, & plenty of water to cover.
Cover and cook on HI for 6-8 hours. That’s it! It needs to be on high because it will eventually come to a boil that way. After 6-8 hours, beans should be tender. At this point, you can add salt and pepper to taste.
If you like, that’s all you need to do. I love to serve soupy beans alongside a batch of skillet cornbread. You can even doctor them up with sour cream and cheese. If you are wanting to make refried beans, there are a couple more steps.
Put the beans and a little of their broth in a food processor or blender. Pulse until you have a paste.
Next, melt 1 T. of bacon grease or lard in a skillet and cook the beans for 6-7 minutes on medium high.
That’s it! Easy peasy. Serve alongside a yummy Mexican meal, with some tortilla chips or my favorite way… as a base on tostadas (recipe coming up soon).