Easy pinto beans.
These may be left juicy and served as a soup, or reduce the liquid, to serve as a side. Or, puree or mash and serve warm with some chips topped with chips and jalapenos as an appetizer (or dinner, in our house some nights!) I only cooked one cup of dried beans, but these freeze well, and are very handy to pull out of the freezer to serve as a soup, a side, a dip (really: dinner), as a filler for enchiladas, tacos or nachos. Buen provecho!
- 1 cup dried pintos, rinsed and picked over
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups water, as needed
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon chile powder (I used guajillo) or regular chili powder
- 1 small bay leaf, optional
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon diced jalapeno (no seeds), or 1/2 a jalapeno sliced in rings (with seeds), depending on your heat preference
- Optional: 1/4 cup pan drippings from a roast chicken, pork, or beef or 1/2 cup homemade stock, optional; a few pieces of bacon, salt pork will also work fine
You can soak your beans overnight (or all day), or, you can use the quick soak method. I usually use the quick soak method as I usually do most of my cooking on the weekend. Rinse and sort the beans. Cover them with water, about 3 to 4 cups. Bring to boil, and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain water. This is optional, and debatable; some say it reduces gas (in your tummy), and some say you are throwing away vital nutrients. You choose. Usually I do not throw away the water. If however, you are not used to eating beans on a regular basis, investing in a little bottle of Bean-o helps (those around you).
If you drained the water, add 3 to 4 cups back, as needed. Return to a simmer. Add all remaining seasonings. If using bacon or salt pork, I would saute it in the pan that the beans are to be cooked in. If this means transferring the pre-soaked beans to another bowl, then yes, I would do this. Because, the whole point of the bacon (or salt pork, or ham, or sausage) is for seasoning.
Simmer for an hour or two until beans are tender, and serve as desired.