Pinto Beans

My new stainless steel 6.5-quart Cuisinart slow cooker arrived last week, and to break her in, I decided to whip up a batch of pinto beans.

May I just say how much I love this gleaming beauty, that takes up most of my kitchen counter?

On her maiden voyage, she did magical, wonderful things to these little beans. She, in her own special, slow pokey way, while I was sleeping, made a mess of pintos just like my mom makes, and on this particular frigid December morning, I woke up to the oh-so-familiar, warm aromas of beans and coffee, which, for me, is the kind of heaven that can only be surpassed by a drive down a dirt road in a pickup truck, windows down, with the smell of fresh cow poo pouring in…I get all misty-eyed just thinkin’ about it.

So, onto the pintos, which, like the black bean, can be found here in Paris in Belleville (many of the little shops right outside of the Belleville and Couronnes metro stops sell them), or in the good old U.S. of A., any damn grocery store that you walk into. Wal-Mart, Piggly Wiggly, whatever.

Here’s how you, too, can make the magic pintos:

First, you soak your beans in a bunch of water for 6-8 hours. Then, rinse them well, and check to make sure you don’t have any errant stones (though I’ve never found any, have you?) in the mix.

I made a small batch – just one pound of beans – so I used the following:

1 large yellow onion
4-6 cloves garlic
Appx. 1 cup of chopped ham

I just threw all of this in the slow cooker, covered them with about 3 inches of water, and turned it on low for 8 hours. The next morning, I had a pot of perfect, yummy beans. I added a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, and turned off the cooker, and had a bowl of beans and cornbread for lunch.

More on the cornbread in a bit. I’m still working on a couple of recipes. In the meantime, I’m loving the pintos, with a good slosh or two of Louisiana hot sauce on top for good measure. Killer.