Growing up, we always knew it was Sunday when we could smell pinto beans cooking on the stove all afternoon. My dad threw together this one-pot dish at some point while I was young, and it became a staple in our family.
Served with some crusty French bread, it makes an easy, wholesome (not to mention inexpensive!) dinner that takes hardly any time to prepare.
Oh, and bacon. Because as my dad told me when I first asked for the recipe, as inclined as I usually am to take the meat out of dishes, some kind of pork in a bean dish makes a huge difference in flavor. Salt pork works well too—it's mainly for flavoring.
2 c. dry pinto beans
8 c. water
4 slices bacon (or salt pork)
1/3 c. onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. chili pepper
pinch of onion powder
1/2 tsp. each salt & pepper (or to taste)
2. Add pinto beans, water, bacon, onion, garlic, and spices to a slowcooker. I usually wait to add the salt until the last hour, because it affects how the beans cook.
3. Cook on High for 5 hours or Low for 7-8 hours, stirring occasionally.
If not using a slowcooker, this would work on the stove over low heat for 6-8 hours. Save some cooking time by soaking beans over night, but soaking is not necessary, so don't let the need for that level of forethought hinder you from making this.