Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Slow-Simmered Pinto Beans

There is nothing more satisfying in the chill autumn months than a heaping serving of slow-simmered beans.  This recipe is about as easy as they come.  You basically just throw everything into a pot, bring it to a boil, then simmer for a few hours until the beans are nice and tender.  It pairs really well with oven-baked polenta but would also be good with rice or even all by itself.

This is another example that proves my theory that you do not need to pre-soak beans before cooking them.  Even chickpeas can become tender and delicious in a couple of hours without soaking.  The oven-cooking method I wrote about here also works on the stove top.

Yes, I said a couple of hours.  This method does not necessarily save time.  If I decide on a Monday that I want beans that night then I cook up some lentils, which take about 30 minutes to cook.  If I decide that I want any larger beans on Monday then I cook them that night for use on Tuesday.  So I still need to plan ahead but that is fine with me because I much prefer the texture of beans that are cooked without pre-soaking.  Pre-soaking can cause the skins to come off during cooking, and the beans come out more mushy than I like.

This is a perfect weekend dish.  You can throw everything together in the morning, put it on the stove, and then go about your day.  You just have to make sure to check on it every half hour or so.

There is nothing like the aroma of beans simmering on the stove in the cooler autumn months.

The leftovers work well for weekday lunches as well, so you can kill two birds with one stone.

Home Cookin v.9.70 Chapter: Beans and Vegetables
Slow Simmered Pinto Beans
Servings: 8 to 10

1 pound dried pinto beans
1/4 pound bacon, roughly chopped
10 sprigs cilantro, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 serrano chilies
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish

Combine all the ingredients with about 7 cups of water in a 6-quart dutch oven. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until beans are tender, about 3 hours. Stir occasionally.

Season with salt to taste and sprinkle with additional cilantro if desired.

adapted from Saveur Number 121

Exported from Home Cooking v.9.70

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