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I grew up on pinto beans and cornbread and there is nothing like it. A Southern comfort food at it’s finest. I have seen many recipes with all sorts of ingredients but but a little meat grease, bacon or ham bone and salt is Southern pure and simple. Using a ham bone if you have one is the best way to cook it. Small pieces of ham fall off the bone and makes these beans delicious.
Dry beans take time to cook but take very little effort on your part. Throw it in the pot and cook just check on them ever so often and see if they need more water. Dry beans are a very economical and a great source of protein.
- ½ pound dried pinto beans
- 3 slices of bacon or 1 ham bone
- salt to taste
- “Look” your beans by pouring a small amount of beans into your hand removing and discarding any defective, broken or discolored beans. Be sure to look for small pebbles too.
- Parboil: Rinse beans and add them to a large stock pot, covering them with 2-3 inches of water and boil rapidly for 10-15 minutes.
- Reduce heat to a slow boil and add bacon or ham bone. Cover the pot with a lid and cook until tender (2-3 hours). Salt to taste when nearly done. (Check on beans ever so often and add water as needed, dry beans absorb a lot of water while cooking)
- Slow cooker version: The night before parboil as instructed above. Add beans to a large crock pot and cover with 2-3 inches of water. In the morning cover with 3-4 inches of water add bacon or ham bone to the large crock pot. Cover with 3-4 inches of water. Cook 6-8 hours on low until done. Salt to taste.
Written by Shelley Frady who blogs at Ground Beef Budget. She is a single Mom who knows how to survive on a “ground beef budget”.