Thursday, October 14, 2010

pinto beans from scratch

A couple of you were asking me to post about how I cook my dried pinto beans. All thanks go to Kyrie for teaching me how. Originally I had linked to her directions but that link no longer works, so here is what I've been doing:

First of all, I highly recommend going to the health food store with bulk bins and buying nice fresh dried beans. They are so much better than the little bags of packaged beans you buy at the regular grocery and they will cook faster too (because they are so fresh). While you are at the health food, store buy a package of kombu too. It's a dried sea vegetable you will find in the Asian section. The kombu tenderizes the beans and makes them more digestible and adds a nice savory/sweet hint as well.

I soak my beans in the morning. Just sort and rinse your beans (about a pound), dump them in the pot, and cover with nice water. Here is the fun part: put the lid on and go about your routines. You'll feel domestic-goddessy all day, knowing you have beans soaking. For reals.

Here is what the kombu looks like. For this recipe, break off about an inch or so.
Get your vegetables ready in the afternoon, after the beans have soaked about 7 hours. I use carrots, an onion, garlic cloves, and the kombu.
Place the vegetables in the pot with your soaked beans. I don't change the water, but you can if you want. Then just bring to a boil, skim off any foam, lower to a simmer, and simmer until the beans are tender (it will take under an hour). Add salt at the end.
And there you have it: yummy beans! You can remove all the vegetables if you want, or just leave them in there. Rainer really likes the carrots (I like them too). By this time the kombu and garlic have pretty well disappeared, so you don't have to worry about fishing those out. These are yummy in any bean application, but lately I've been liking them in bean bowls. Yum! Please share how you like to eat your pintos.

18 comments:

Kyrie said...

That's pretty much exactly how I do it, but your instructions are prettier! :) They also freeze well if you have leftovers; I like to freeze mine in 1 cup increments. A great jump-start on homemade chili! xo

Karen said...

That looks delicious!!! I'll have to find out wether we have Pinto Beans in Germany...

The Beans remind of a wonderful book about a little beaver planting beans. I think it is "Harvey the Gardener" by Lars Klinting in English. We can highly recommend all books about Harvey (in German his name is Kasimir)!!! He is a baker, a carpenter, a painter, a sewer... There are seven books and our children love them all. The illustrations are lovely (originally Swedish) and each book shows how to do something. Even the recipe for the cake and the pattern for an apron are included!

Enjoy your weekend!

Denise C. said...

Thank you Mary Beth!!! I have never made beans from scratch & will have to give these a whirl! I like the idea of sticking some in the freezer as well. :)

Andrea said...

Yum! Pintos are my favorite. Thanks for the kombu hint...I'll have to try it (I've had a bag of that stuff sitting around for a long, long time). We grew our own beans this year--only about a pound, but they were super easy and are beautiful. I can't wait to cook them! I use them in burritos, beans & rice next to enchiladas, refried, and other Mexican dishes.

Anonymous said...

Thank You for this recipe, Mary Beth! I can't wait to try these. They look sooooo good.

Kate

kera said...

Pinto beans are a staple in the south.....I grew up in Michigan and so I didn't become a big fan of pinto beans until I met my husband and started our family!.Now we eat them on a regular basis. I'm going to have to try your recipe, I've got one that's pretty simple {which only requires an overnight soak and then throwing them into a crock pot with garlic and water to slow cook all day adding veggie broth powder at the end}. I've never heard of kombu and so that's a definite must have!! Thanks for sharing! So we eat our pinto's with cornbread and I found a fun way to bake the corn bread! {see post below} We also add some chopped veggies on top sometimes.

http://hughesxs4.blogspot.com/2009/08/were-eating-fish-for-dinner.html

~Heather said...

Don't forget to sort through the beans when they're still dry to make sure there are no clumps of dirt or pebbles (I don't find them every time, but every time I do I'm glad I took a few minutes to go through them).

I usually dump the soaking water and cook them in new water, because there may be a small dirt clod I missed and it leaves the grainy residue behind at the bottom of the bowl.

Oh, crushed cumin is tasty in beans too! Can't wait to try the kombu. (And I'd second making a little extra and freezing a bag or 2 for later use - I had to defrost a bag last night at the last minute.)

Family of 4.... said...

My husband does not like black beans or kidney beans, and pretty much only likes Pintos, so I soak them as well, but cook them the Pioneer Woman way with bacon, etc. But I like your version and also freezing them for using in chili. I also cook them in the crock pot. But I like adding the carrot and onion and garlic. I will try that next time.

Also I use the Everyday Food version of pintos that they posted this summer in one of their mags, when we make tacos, but I used the canned as it calls for.

Molly

jenny said...

Yum, I had never heard of adding kombu either. What a good idea. I wonder if I can find it up here... I usually add a jalepeno or two to my cooking beans to spice things up. Thanks for sharing! I'm inspired!

Once Upon A Parent said...

Oh yum! I think I will be making beans this weekend. I have been craving them lately. It's the cold cozy weather I think.

Melissa said...

Thank you for sharing your recipe, will hopefully be trying it soon.

Maiz said...

I'm so happy that you posted this! I picked up some kombu (based on your earlier hint), and kept meaning to email you to ask how you use it in beans!

We eat TONS of pintos. I cook them from dry without soaking. Just sort, wash, cover with a couple of inches of water, bring to boil and simmer with diced onions and garlic for a few hours, adding water when needed, and salting when the beans are soft. This is how many generations of my family have cooked them (minus a chunk of salt pork).

We mash them and re-fry them in olive oil, serve with tortillas. They are awesome with a fried egg on top for breakfast. We make lots of burritos with grated cheddar (the kids like them in their lunches!) and sometimes lettuce, tomato and salsa.

I use them in chili, too, with a half a dozen other kinds of beans.

I'm going to try your recipe tomorrow!!!

Your blog has been especially wonderful lately... I keep meaning to tell you! Thanks for sharing so many details about your domestic life. It is really a pleasure to see how you do things.

fine as frog hair said...

just wanted to let you know that something lovely happened to me the other day…I found your blog…delightful...thank you for time you put into it...it's like eye candy

Susan said...

Hi Mary Beth! I love to just throw my beans (pintos, garbanzos, and black beans are a favorite at my house!) & water in my crockpot on high until done (around 4 hours I think). I add salt at the end and other spices depending on what I'm doing with the beans. I usually do 2 pounds at time and freeze what I don't use right away. I love pintos on tacos or as a side with Mexican foods. Thx for sharing how you do your beans! I need to find some Kombu so I can try making beans with that!

Little Ol' Liz said...

Just a point of note: Those beans go from rock hard to plenty soft in 45 minutes when you use a pressure cooker, if you're fixed for time.

That Bean Bowl recipe just plain rocks!

Dawn said...

Trying these tonight!
:)

Kimberly said...

Hi,

First I want to say I love your blog...one of my daily reads. Great of you to post about beans they are such a great staple and can be used in so many ways...I'm an inspiring chef attending Culinary school in NYC and you should throw out the soaking water and add in fresh because you are soaking them to reduce cooking time and to reduce phytic acid to help with digestibility, so the water would still have the thing you are trying to remove in it, so fresh is best. Also, we always salt at the beginning of cooking, to break them down faster and make them easier to digest.

Just my two cents....

Martha said...

Okay...Yum!! I made these tonight for my hubby...who has been away on business all week and really, truly needs some REAL food when he gets home.
They are FANTASTIC!!!
So glad to know they freeze, too. Will definitely do that!!
THANK YOU!!! (to Kyrie, too!)