Don't Know Beans About Beans?
No Problem! I Do!
Slow Cooker Pinto Beans
2 lb. dry pinto beans 1 small smoked ham hock (optional-see below) 3 tablespoons Bolner's Fiesta Brand® Pinto Bean Seasoning
(OR:1 Tbs. chili powder, 2 teas. ground cumin, and 1 1/2 Tbs garlic powder) 8 cups of water--enough to cover the beans by about 2 inches
½ cup chopped onions
½ cup chopped bell pepper
2 teas. salt
1 teas. pepper
1) Put beans in a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker, cover with water.*
2) Add the ham hock, seasoning, onion and bell pepper, and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours until the beans are tender.
3) Taste and add more salt & pepper, if desired.
Variations: Sometimes, I leave the bell pepper and onions out until just before serving—my husband claims they’re more flavorful that way. OR, add more raw onions and/or peppers when serving.
Vegetarian Beans: Leave out the ham hock.
Borracho Beans: Add one can beer.
*This recipe may be halved if using a 3-Qt. slow cooker
Some helpful tips:
Line your crock pot with those nifty slow cooker liners which you can find in the plastic baggies/aluminum foil section of your grocery store
After beans have cooled, place leftover beans in a sealable container (plastic, glass, or I even use Mason Jars) and put in the fridge. They will keep for about 5 days. How do you know when they’ve gone bad? Believe me, you will know! Beans are high in protein, so when they’re bad, they smell to high heaven! Which brings me to…
Do not leave scraps of beans in your trash overnight—your entire house will stink the next morning.
When I’m in a hurry, I get frustrated when I go to a blog and have to scroll through an entire post before I get to the recipe at the bottom of the page. I may come back and read the blog post later when I have time, or I may not 😊 Therefore, I am going to place the recipe at the top of my post each time. Pictures will be at the bottom of the post.
Now here's the really cool thing about beans: They're cheap, and you can live off them for a several days!
Here are some of the ways I utilize my beans:
Rice and Beans
1) Pour the beans over cooked rice-whatever kind of rice you like. If you’re on a budget, buy a bag of the cheapest rice you can find and follow the directions on the bag. Just be sure that once your rice is boiling, you lower the temp on your stove as low as it can go, and resist the urge to check on the rice until just a couple of minutes before the recommended time is up, so the rice can absorb the water. I usually go the lazy way and buy the Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice packets, but that’s more expensive.
2) Add some toppings, such as:
Peppers (jalapeno or bell)
Crumbled tortilla chips
Pico de gallo
I got the idea of topping the rice and beans with chicken from Pollo Loco's "Pollo Bowl."
Be creative and add whatever you like! YUM!
Cooked pinto beans
Pot likker from beans
Spray a skillet with cooking spray.
Take a slotted spoon and remove enough beans to cover the bottom of the skillet.
Place skillet on a stove burner set on medium. As the beans heat up, take a fork (I use a large salad fork—you know, the kind for tossing a salad, simply because it covers more area. You can use a regular fork) and start smashing the beans.
Add tablespoons of the pot likker (juice) one at a time from the beans to keep them from drying out. You want your beans creamy, not dry nor runny, so adding one tablespoon at a time will prevent this from happening until you get the feel for how much you need in the future. “Authentic” refried beans have lard added to them at this point, but that’s so unhealthy, I’ve never tried it and never will. When we go to Mexican restaurants, I’m sure they have added lard, butter and/or bacon grease, and I just enjoy it there!
Once they are completely smashed, remove from heat and allow to congeal before serving.