Since moving to the south six years ago, I have had the fabulous privilege of eating pinto beans cooked up in a big 'ole pot (the only way to make them in the south) on numerous occasions.
For the most part, this has been a wonderful experience. Some people just have a knack for tasting and seasoning the beans as they cook.
I have found that if pinto beans are not seasoned well, they can turn out very bland and yucky. Unfortunately, I have tasted a few big 'ole pots like that before too.
The key to taking a plain bag of dried beans to a fabulous meal (in my humble opinion) is the garlic! Minced, chopped, fresh or refrigerated -- it doesn't matter, but please, please add some garlic to your beans! It makes such a difference!
Well after tweaking a few different recipes, I came up with my own variation. Hope you enjoy!
Perfect Pinto Beans
1 lb. dry pinto beans
4 cups water
3 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
1/4 finely chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 - 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2-3 dashes hot sauce
Rinse pinto beans and place in large pot. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 2-3 hours until soft, adding water as needed -- approximately 2 1/2 - 3 more cups. Enjoy!
Serve with a dollop of sour cream on top and corn bread on the side.
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