We’re back into the habit of cooking beans more often. (Since Asher’s birth, there has been an unfortunate amount of canned beans served around here…) Many folks have asked me about how I cook/serve beans, so I thought I would finally share. I cook up a pot or two of these each Sunday or Monday to be served for lunches and quick last-minute-I-didn’t-plan-well dinners throughout the week.
I was inspired this post to get back in the bean-cooking groove. Also, this. Now, I can’t stop. Pinto beans are my favorite, with kidney and black tying for second. I soak beans for about a day, usually starting on Saturday or Sunday. The day that they are cooked, the beans are served for supper, with some sort of bread or rice. (Try Basic Baked Rice.) Pinto beans and cornbread are *perfection* together, especially with fresh cornmeal. (Cornmeal goes rancid and bitter very quickly in storage. If you’ve never made cornbread with freshly ground cornmeal, and you don’t have a grain mill, try this recipe by Sue Gregg. All you need is a blender! I have a grain mill, but I still used this recipe, because I like it so much. Cheap, fresh, and easy.) We love to garnish our beans with cheese, sour cream, yogurt, salsa, or whatever we have around. Or, my favorite–nothing. I either freeze the leftovers in bags for easy meals later, or (more likely) eat the beans throughout the week for lunches and snacks. Mmmm…
Like Jeana, I find I get better results by adding salt at the beginning (I know! But it works! And tastes better!) and simmering on the back burner of the stove (instead of the crockpot, which tends to give me mushy beans). And never leave out the fat!
Easy Pinto Beans
- 3 cups pinto beans (or try kidney, black, red, whatever)
- 2-3 crushed garlic cloves
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp salt
- Soak beans in plenty of water for 12-24 hours.
- Drain. Put beans into a large stock pot with the rest of the ingredients. Fill at least halfway with water, or 2-3 inches above beans, or as much as you need to make as much bean broth as you want. I like lots.
- Cover and bring to a boil (I use my stove’s power burner to save time). Reduce heat (I move to the back burner, which is teeny and great for simmering) and simmer gently, covered, all day, or at least 2-3 hours.
Enjoy! I usually start soaking during lunch one day, and start cooking while the kids are eating lunch the next. It’s all done by supper. Let me know how it turns out for you!