An Easy Slow-Cooked Meal
Pinto beans are a staple in many kitchens; dried beans are both easy and cheap to make. And, if you don't have time to keep a close eye on a bubbling pot of beans, then use a crock pot. This is an extremely simple way to make a healthy meal for your family, especially if you are on a budget. Just add the amount of beans you want to the crock pot, put the lid and turn to low heat. No worries of these tasty legumes sticking to the bottom of a pan and burning. At the end of the day you'll be enjoying a bowl of delicious pinto beans slow-cooked to perfection.
16 ounce bag of dried pinto beans
3 medium onions
5 strips of bacon
Pour a small amount of the dried beans on the counter or on a plate. Sift through them and pick out any pieces of dirt. You can also remove any beans that nasty looking; some just throw them all in while others prefer to throw them away. Repeat the sifting process until the bag is empty.
Place the sifted beans in colander and run cold water over them. This further removes any dirt on the beans.
Dump the beans into the crock pot. Next, peel and cut off both ends of the onions, leaving them whole and place in the pot. You can also chop the onions into chunks if you prefer.
Fill the pot 3/4 of the way with cold water.
Add 5 strips of bacon. The bacon helps to add flavor but it isn't the only type of meat you can cook with beans. Ham hocks, pieces of ham, a ham bone, breakfast sausage and hamburger all go well with pinto beans; raw or cooked before adding.
Put the lid on the crock pot and set to low heat. Now, you can go about your day while waiting for your meal to finish slow cooking.
- To shave off about an hour of cooking time, try soaking your beans the night before. The beans will swell up to at least double in size so make sure to add plenty of water. Drain the water and rinse before adding to the crock pot.
- If you do not use the entire bag of beans, then place in a plastic Ziploc bag and store in a dry area.
- You can store uneaten beans in the fridge for up to two days. You can also put the leftovers in an airtight plastic container with a lid and put in the freezer; leave about one inch space from the top for the beans to expand. Make sure plenty of juice is covering the beans so they do not dry out.
- Cook with an unpeeled potato to cut down on any gas you may experience after eating beans.