Today I’m going to share with you my family’s favorite Mexican side dish, classic pinto beans. I realize there are several different ways you can make them, and the way I’m showing you today is a basic way, with an added bonus on how to remove the “gas” from the beans. Trust me, you will not want to skip this step. I learned how to do this process from My Country Table. When I first read this I thought there is no way this will work, but it does make a difference and your tummy will thank you.
These beans are so simple to make and with little preparation, you will never want to eat canned pinto beans again.
Now let’s get cooking.
Classic Pinto Beans
- 2 cups dried pinto beans
- 1 tablespoon baking soda (for de-gassing)
- 2 strips bacon diced
- 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 1/2 tablespoon Lawry's season salt
- Pepper to taste
- Step 1 Sort and rinse your beans. Many times you will find small pebbles mixed inside the bag, remove and throw away.
- Step 2 Quick Soak: Add your rinsed beans to a large stockpot, cover beans with 2″ water above the bean line. Bring to boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and rest for 1 hour. Drain and rinse well.
- Step 3 De-Gas: Place your rinsed beans back into the large stockpot and cover beans with 1″ of water above the line. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda, bring to boil. DO NOT WALK AWAY! Stay by your pot and watch. The baking soda will start to foam and you want it to boil until the foam reaches the top of the pot. Once the foam has reached the top of the stockpot, remove it from heat and rinse thoroughly. You will notice a green hue in the water and that is normal. Now your beans are prepped for the final cooking.
- Step 4 Cooking: Place rinsed beans in a large stockpot, add 6 cups of water, bacon, onion, minced garlic, season salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for a final 1 1/2 hour more. You want your beans to be soft and tender.
As you can see from the photo, this is how your beans should look after a few minutes of boiling with the baking soda. This is why you do not want to walk away from your pot, and why you should use a very large stockpot for this process.
Once your beans are fully cooked you can serve them “de la olla” from the pot, topped with a sprinkling of cheese and cilantro. Or you can refry them. Just ladle your beans into a pan with some of the broth, bring to boil, and use a potato masher to mash them up and make them soft and creamy. Top them with shredded cheese and serve as a side or add them to your favorite burrito.
This recipe can be easily modified into ranch-style beans by adding diced tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, and chili peppers. Or if you’re a vegetarian you can omit the bacon altogether, I make them that way often and they taste just as good!
I hope you all enjoy this recipe and thank you for stopping by All 4 One Home!