My husband and son love beans. Just a simple bowl of beans with maybe a hot buttered tortilla or a chunk of cornbread and they are in heaven.
Me…well, not so much. I don’t really care for beans so imagine when I saw my husband lugging a 15 lb sack of dried pintos home from Costco the other day!
But they are a wonderful source of fiber and are very filling. Important on the budget…they are cheap!And they are easier than you’d think to prepare at home, especially when I used my slow-cooker this time.
In the past beans would take me all day to make and I hated having to babysit the pot to make sure they didn’t boil over. I knew I wanted to try cooking them in a slow-cooker instead. I found a few recipes on Pinterest and tweaked them to suit our needs and came up with a pot of beans that my husband and his uncle were raving about. I think they may have eaten half the pot in one sitting…good thing I doubled the batch! My husband is very picky about what he eats and how food is prepared so believe me, I was beaming that I was able to prepare them well. I even had myself a little bowl, seasoned with a little salt and pepper and you know what, they were good!
This recipe can easily be doubled. You might as well double it, then take half and freeze it in a quart-sized bag to defrost for another meal.
You’ll have to soften the beans first with either a quick soak or an overnight soak.
Quick Soak –
2 cups of pinto beans (picked through first for debris). Boil in 6 cups of water (uncovered). Allow to boil for two minutes then turn off the flame and allow to soak (covered) for one hour.
Overnight Soak –
Soak 2 cups of beans with water about 2″ above the beans overnight. Drain.
RECIPE – Slowcooker Pinto Beans (single recipe, very easy to double) –
1/2 white onion, chopped and sauteed in 2 tablespoons butter until soft.
Pour presoaked beans and 5 cups of water into crock pot. Add 1 can chicken broth. Add onion and melted butter. Add 1 tablespoon chopped garlic. Give it a stir, put on the lid and cook low for 7-9 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Don’t lift the lid…there is no need to stir.
Remember that a slowcooker will retain all the water and moisture so if you want to drain off any of the liquid after cooking you can. We keep it however, since the leftover beans will take on some of that liquid and you don’t want the beans to dry out in the fridge.
Season simply with salt and pepper before serving. My family eats their bowl of beans with a sprinkling of cheese and a dollop of sour cream. My husband will often add green chilies. He has been using his leftovers to make refried beans, mashing them a bit over a low flame and adding a bit of milk to make them creamy. I’ve been known to add a ham hock to the pot while the beans cook so that the meat falls off the bone into the beans which is pretty darned tasty. Hope you’ll give them a try, beans make quite a versatile meal. And best of all, cheap!
Livestrong – Are Pinto Beans Healthy?
WebMD – Beans: Protein-Rich Superfoods
Pinterest – Recipes using Pinto Beans