Growing up, my mom regularly made a big pot of pinto beans. It was part of my dad’s favorite dinner of beans, potatoes, and cornbread – he called it “Poor Man’s Supper.” It was also strategic – she’d put the leftover ham bone from a special-occasion Sunday dinner into the pot to cook with the beans (and she used the crockpot). The leftover meat would fall off the bone and the ham would flavor the beans.
I rarely cooked beans myself because, up until the kiddo arrived, I was the only one who’d eat them. But now that I have a fellow pinto beans addict in the house, I make them regularly. I never cook ham but it isn’t hard to find a salty, porky substitution.
One of my favorite lunches is a bowl of beans with cilantro, a splash of lime juice, and a drizzle of sour cream whisked with a little milk. Oh, and don’t forget the warm flour tortillas. While potatoes and cornbread are definitely good, the tortillas make the meal!
A flavorful pot of beans is the perfect side for Taco night.
- 1 lb dry pinto beans
- 2 slices of bacon, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- Cilantro, for serving
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Flour tortillas for serving
- Place beans in a large pot and cover with 2 inches of water.
- Bring to a boil for 5 minutes and then turn off and let sit one hour.
- Add bacon, garlic, onion, and the bay leaf and cook over medium heat until beans are tender (about an hour and a1 1/2-2 hours half).
- Salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaf and serve.
- Leftovers keep a week in the fridge.
Yields: 12 1/2-cup servings
Estimated time: 2 hours