I love recipes that require little effort, that you can pull the ingredients out of your pantry at a moment’s notice, and taste heavenly! This is the recipe. Easy, easy, easy and good, good, good! I cannot tell you one time that I have had pinto beans other than a Mexican restaurant. My mother always made black eyed peas, but no pintos or black beans. Well, now I have broadened my horizons or rather my tastebuds. I love this recipe and have made it several times now and each time there is not one spoonful left and there are just two of us eating these beans. I made homemade cornbread, but also being the nutrition teacher that I am I sauteed spinach with a little olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes and topped it with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Oh, my gosh!
The night before you plan to cook the beans place them in a saucepan and cover with water plus 3 inches. They will soak up the water. The next day drain and rinse well. Place them in a slow cooker. You have to flavor them. I’ve used 4 ounces of bacon, diced then cooked in a skillet. I added the fat as well as the cooked bacon. Loved it! Another time I had leftover baked ham that I diced and added to the beans. Either way is great, but I just like the beans with very little meat. So I lean more toward using the bacon to flavor with instead of the diced ham. Next add a chopped onion, chili powder, oregano, and water. That’s it!
Cooking time will vary. The older the beans are the longer they will need to cook. Don’t add salt until the end. Salt will toughen the beans. I have cooked them on high for 5 hours and they were wonderful and I cooked them on low for 8 – 10 hours and I thought they were wonderful. So both times and temperatures work about the same. I would not cook them on high if you can’t check them right at the end if your slow cooker is like mine. A lot of the liquid cooks out on high.
So here you go just the recipe for a hectic day and if you keep a well stocked pantry, you want even have to make a trip to the grocery store.
Pinto Beans in the Slow Cooker from Paula Deen
Yield 10-12 servings
- 1 pound dry pinto beans
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 4 ounces bacon, diced or ham cubed
- 4 cups of water , or more if needed
- 1 onion chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Soak beans overnight in cold water.
- Drain beans and place into a slow cooker.
- Brown diced bacon in a skillet. Add both the bacon and fat to the slow cooker.
- Add chopped onion, oregano, chili powder, and water.
- Cook until very tender 8-10 hours on low or 5 hours on high
- Season with salt and tobasco to taste.
- Take about 1 1/2 cups of the beans and mash with a fork or you can just use an immersion blender. This will thicken the gravy!
- Serve with your best cornbread and maybe try my sauteed spinach. YUMMY!