I usually make a pot of pinto beans at least twice a month sometimes more. They are cheap, easy to make, and fill you right up. Beans do not have to be boring like many believe. There are so many different types of beans and different meals you can make out of them I don’t see how they could ever be boring. You can make them on the stove or in a slow cooker. I cook mine on the stove and they usually take 3-4 hours. How long it will take your beans to cook depends on how old the beans are. It will take longer for older beans to soften up.
Using a ham hock to flavor the beans is a must! One trick I have learned is to let the ham hock simmer for at least an hour before adding the beans. This allows time for the ham hock to release all of it’s goodness. After the beans are down I remove the ham hock and let it cool down. Then I remove the meat from the ham hock and add it to the pot with the beans. Sometimes I’ll get a ham hock without much meat on it. But this isn’t essential at all. You could always just throw the ham hock straight into the trash after cooking.
I love adding rice to my beans it just makes the meal more filling and stretches the beans a little further. The rice I use is basmati rice and it’s funny because I would have never thought to pair basmati rice with pinto beans. I used to always use just plain long grain white rice. But last year I went to my friend’s house to catch up as we hadn’t seen each other in years. I ended up eating there which is always great because her mother is a wonderful cook and pinto beans and basmati rice were one of the meals she made that day. Thanks to her basmati is the only rice I use to pair with my pinto beans. The beans are fine all on their own but paired with fragrant basmati rice makes them so much better!
If the beans ever run low on liquid when simmering it’s ok to add another cup of water. The beans shouldn’t be dry. We want the beans to have a nice gravy when finished like in the above photo. I absolutely cannot eat these pinto beans without some hot water cornbread to go with it! If you haven’t tried hot water cornbread you should. It’s crispy on the outside and soft inside. I love it, it’s the only way I make cornbread. It’s perfect for sopping up that delicious bean gravy.