My mother made a big pot of beans for us just about every few days. In a family with 8 children you tend to get use to inexpensive (good tasting) staples like this.
I have good memories of them cooking away on the stove, I can still recall a sense of warmth in our home as the scent of the almost cooked beans permeated our home. Now I enjoy cooking these beans for my own family.
* To soak or not soak? My mom never did, so I don’t either, end of debate. Ha. 🙂
- 1 pound pinto beans, rinsed
- 12 cups beef broth
- 1/4 large onion, peeled and left in a chunk
- 2 slices of bacon, whole
- 1/2 sliced (in rings) jalapeño (these will only add flavor, not much heat at all)
- 1 tsp chile powder
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and whole
- Place all ingredients in a large crockpot
- Turn crockpot to high
- Cover crockpot
- Cook on high for 4 to 4 1/2 hours, until beans are tender
- Turn off crockpot. Remove the top to help stop the cooking process, discard bacon strips, garlic and onion pieces.
Here I enjoyed them with chopped onion, chopped cilantro and chopped jalapeño. I like to serve beans a little soupy, in small bowls, sometimes like this. Ooo, a dollop of sourcream or plain greek yogurt would be a nice addition too.
For a nice presentation plate your main dish and perhaps rice (or any other side dish) then on the same plate serve these beans in small bowls.
These beans are also very good refried. I have a little trouble 😉 using lard (the traditional way) to re-fry beans, so I use the extra cooked bean broth as needed to get a good consistency as I mash away.
*the cooked beans freeze well. I like to make this size batch, when the beans are cool I take 1 to 2 cup portions (spoon some of the bean broth with them) and freeze in ziplock bags for later use.