Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Dinner: Pinto Beans

The typical way to cook beans is simmering them all day long. When I was growing up, Mama had a pressure cooker she often used. In my kitchen, I have a limited amount of space and I'm just not adding any more cookware. I make pinto beans in the crockpot. I love to use my crockpot. It is so wonderful to come home in the evening after a long day at work to find supper ready.

To make pinto beans in the crockpot:

Sort the beans, removing any of the small stones you often find in a bag of dried beans.

Soak the beans overnight. Rinse the beans. Do not use the water they have been soaking in. (If you don't have time for soaking overnight, you can cover the beans in water, bring to a boil, and then let the beans sit in the water for an hour. Rinse the beans. Do not use the water they have been sitting in.)

Place the beans in a crockpot. Add fresh water. The water level should be 2 to 3 inches above the beans. Add a small piece of fatback. (Yeah, I know it sounds yucky, but they taste better with it. I usually only buy fatback once a year. I keep it stored in the freezer.) 

Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. The beans should be soft, not hard.

I like to have my beans with a piece of cornbread and a couple of slices of tomato. My brother prefers a slice of onion. Many people I know like chow chow (the relish, not the dog) with their beans. 

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