I never thought I could love beans so much.
I mean, it is a pot of beans, how special could it be?
But every single time I make these beans (Teacher-Appreciation week, parties, for the family & neighbors) people go nuts over these. They comment how flipping delicious they are. I am telling you…done right…you will never look at a humble pot of beans quite the same again. And there will be no bank-breaking with this recipe….organic dried beans are very affordable.
I use my pressure cooker for this recipe, which takes minutes to perfectly cook my soaked beans as opposed to hours. I simply ADORE my pressure cooker and think everyone should own one! You can do this stove top they whole way through, I have…it just takes all day on a slow simmer to get those melt-in-your mouth creamy beans.
I credit this recipe and technique to my good friend and neighbor, Glenda. I had her teach me how to make a traditional pot of Puerto Rican beans. I have never looked back…and think a can of refried beans would be sacrilege now! Gracias mi amiguita!
I like to make a big batch and freeze leftovers in individual mason jars.
SOAKING NOTE: By soaking the beans in a acid medium, you are helping break down some of the sugars that make beans more difficult to digest. So if you normally get some toots, this might be you saviour! On top of that, you are unlocking the nutrients and making them more available to your body. Just DO it! Yes, you can bypass this step and cook you beans longer…or follow Whole New Mom’s technique for the quick-soak method!
- 2 cup dried pinto beans, soaked for at least 12 hours in lots of cool water and a couple of tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar. While the soaking is optional, this helps break down some the phytates that give lots of people gas. Be sure to rinse them well after soaking to get rid of all it! Better digestion = better nutrition too!
- 1 ham hock (optional)
- 4-6 ounces smoked (not a sweet variety) deli ham or cubed ham roast
- 1 sweet bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2-4 tablespoons tomato paste, or one 8 ounce can tomato sauce (optional)
- Optional spices: a teaspoon or two of cumin, chili powder can be used.
- 1-3 teaspoons sea salt, to taste (ADD AT THEY VERY END!)
- Place your beans in a large bowl, cover with at least 2" of water, 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or kefir.
- Soak beans overnight or about 12 hours.
- Drain and thoroughly rinse the beans.
- Place in a pressure cooker or large dutch oven along with the ham hock (if using). Cover with at least 2" of water (more is OK).
- Cover the pot, bring to full pressure and cook 14-16 minutes (time starts when full pressure is reached). Remove from heat and wait for the pressure to come down naturally, or do a quick release as preferred.
- DUTCH OVEN METHOD: Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer (covered) for 3-4 hours until tender.
- Without draining the water (or adding more if you need to), mix in the pepper, onion, and ham and simmer, uncovered for 1-3 (or more!) hours, or until most of the water is evaporated and the beans are melt-in-your-mouth tender. Keep careful watch on your water level, and add more if you need to. I like to leave my beans a little bit saucy, but this up to you! You could also choose to mash them up a bit for a refried-style.
- Stir in the tomato paste or sauce, if using, and any spices you may like.
- Add sea salt to taste.
This recipe was shared on Mostly Homemade Mondays, Fat Tuesday, Hearth & Soul, GF Wednesdays, Waste Not Want Not, Homestead Blog Hop, Real Food Fridays, Let’s Get Real Fridays, Free From Fridays, Natural Living Fridays,