Friday, February 20, 2009

Pinto Beans

I made pinto beans last night, actually it was the last three days, because that's how long it took to cook them! I like buying beans hard; they're cheaper and last forever. I usually just use the quick soak method and they are ready for dinner. This has worked for all my beans except my pintos. They always end up a little too crunchy and I can never get the flavor right. So this week I did a little google work and found several very similar recipes that gave me some ideas. I started cooking the beans on Tuesday. I cooked them all day....still hard. So I pulled them out on Wednesday and cooked them again...a little better, but still hard. I was about to throw them all out when I read something about the hardness of your water affecting the cook time. I knew not to put salt in them until they were done, but I hadn't thought about the water I was using. So on Thursday I put them on the stove again. I added half a pound of bacon (doesn't that have salt?), three cloves of chopped garlic, and one onion. It cooked, and it smelled good, and the beans softened. I added a dried jalapeno pepper, some basil and salt. I was very pleased with the result. Not delicious, after all, they are just beans, but they were very satisfying.

2 cups hard pinto beans
1/2 lb bacon
3 cloves garlic
1 onion, diced
1 hot pepper
basil (optional)
2 tsp salt (added when beans are soft)

*So, you may be wondering why I didn't use my slow cooker for an overnight simmer. Simple, the next days dinner never crosses my mind when my tummy is full and ready for bed.
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