March 9, 2012

Pinto Beans

We eat a lot of pinto beans in our house. In West Virginia there are a few foods that everyone seems to make including pinto beans, pepperoni rolls, and ramps. My five-year-old already has preferences as to the the proper chow chow to put on his pinto beans. There are various ways to prepare a great bowl of pinto beans. My mother-in-law makes great beans with her pressure cooker. I really only use my pressure cooker for canning and haven't branched out to anything more. My favorite way to make pinto beans is in my slow-cooker. The beans come out tasting great and take very little effort to make. Here's my recipe:

  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 1 lb of dried of pinto beans
  • water to cover
  • chow chow or sweet onion for garnish
Rinse and then cover dried pinto beans with water and soak overnight. Dump water and then add beans to slow-cooker. Place ham hock in the center of the beans and cover with water (at least six cups, normally I add a little more). Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Salt to taste (it may take a large amount of salt to adequately season the beans). Don't add salt to the beans while they are cooking or the beans will not fully cook. After serving the beans top with chow chow and enjoy!

Pinto beans are very easy to make and are great with a big slice of cornbread slathered in butter. Even my two boys love these beans and will eat bowls full. Using the slow-cooker makes for an easy dinner that takes only minutes to prep.
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