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January 7, 2013

West Virginia Pinto Beans Revisted



Pinto beans are a staple in my household. They are quick and easy to prepare and cost literally dollars to make. They also freeze well for later use and are popular with my two boys. While a lot of people make their pinto beans on the stove or in a pressure cooker I make mine a little differently. When my husband and I first got married I had no idea how to make any type of beans other than kidney and garbanzo. I had moved to a state where pinto beans were everywhere and I felt like a fish out of water. I tried making them a few times on the stove and they never turned out as well as my mother-in-laws. Hers were always slightly smokey from the ham she cooked them with and delicious. So I decided that I needed to figure out a way of cooking pinto beans that worked better for me. I took my mother-in-laws idea of using a ham hock and turned to the crock-pot. It turned out perfectly and I haven't looked back. A while back I posted my crock-pot pinto bean recipe, but I decided that it needed to be re-visited and updated. So here is my recipe for pinto beans one more time.
  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 1 ham hock, meaty ham bone or ham pieces
  • crock-pot
  • salt to taste
  • chow-chow for topping
Rinse dried pinto beans and cover with 8 cups of water in a pot. Let sit overnight for approximately 12 hours. Rinse beans and add to slow-cooker. Nestle ham hock (or whatever form of ham you are using) into the center of the beans. Cover with water. I normally use 6-8 cups of water. Cook on low for 8-12 hours or high for 6-8. Do not salt the pinto beans until they are finished cooking. If you salt the beans before they are finished they will take longer to cook and not turn out as soft. After the beans are done I top the servings with chow-chow.

The last time I printed this recipe I had a lot of questions about what chow-chow was. It's basically a sweet pickled cabbage relish. So here is a pic:

IMG_0241-2_zps6b52e126

It is great on pinto beans and creates a nice sweet vinegar taste.

That's it, very easy and delicious. It is a very inexpensive meal and cornbread makes a great side since it can be used to soak up the pinto bean liquid. 

19 comments:

  1. WV Beans!! lol My mama makes beans in a crockpot too. But I have to admit I have never heard of chow-chow... till now!

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    1. I hadn't heard of chow chow before my mother-in-law and husband introduced me to it :) You can buy it at Kroger and Cracker Barrel, it really is good on pinto beans, it gives them a sweet vinegar taste which is delicious with cornbread.

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  2. I was almost going to say that the photo looks a lot like our Boston baked beans, but then once I got to the part about the chow chow - not so much LOL. It does look like an interesting recipe and it's definitley something that I could serve at a party. I usually do a crock full of baked beans, so this would be a cool twist on that.

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    1. I love Boston baked beans! I have never done them in the crockpot though, I might have the try that. It would be much easier than hours in the oven :)

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  3. I grew up on pinto beans so that must be a southern thing. I live in Chicago but my parents are from the south. Ever since I've been married, I've cooked all types for the beans but not pintos. I guess I got sick of them. I think I'll go by the store today and get me a ham hock and some pinto beans.

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    1. It definitely is a southern thing :) They are a great inexpensive meal, I make them about once a month.

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  4. I am pretty sure my husband would love this! :) Pinto beans available in Canada? Do you think? I don't remember seeing it in grocery shelves...

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    1. It's hard to tell with dried beans. I could never find them in Seattle but they are everywhere in WV :)

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  5. I wish I liked beans, but they are not high on my list. I believe they are a more Southern style dish. You have a lot of unique and wonderful recipes.

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    1. Thanks for the sweet comment :) They are definitely a southern dish, I never had eaten them until I moved to WV.

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  6. We like pinto beans quite a bit here too. I think you're right, corn bread would be perfect as a side w/this dish!

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    1. Cornbread and pinto beans are yummy together :)

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  7. That looks super yummy! I don't make those too often for some reason, but you inspired me!

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    1. Thanks for the sweet comment :) They really are delicious!

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  8. Sounds good! I've never heard of chow-chow but it sounds yummy!

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    1. I hadn't had chow chow until I moved here. It really is great with beans!

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  9. I have them cooking in the crockpot right now :). I love chow chow! My huusband's grandmother cans a bunch of it every year

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    1. I love chow chow also. I haven't canned any in a while though, I love canning it saves so much money and it's great to be able to pull out a can in the winter. I hope your beans turn out yummy :)

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  10. I am from WV and love pinto beans. My mom always ate them with raw onion and ketchup on top and now that's the only way I like it. My friend in grad school, also from WV, likes hers with mayo and cornbread all mixed up. Haven't tried it yet but I bet I'd like it even though it looks and sounds gross. HA

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