Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Slow Cooker Pinto Beans

My friend who used to live in New Mexico served us these beans a few years ago, and they instantly became a favorite in our house.  My kids could alternate between pinto beans and pizza for dinner and be happy forever.  Read the directions carefully because you really have to plan ahead for this one!  You'll be glad you did, though.

New Mexico Style Pinto Beans

1 pound of dried pinto beans
1 ham hock/bone (I often leave this out if I don't have it)
1/4 onion, as a chunk
2 whole cloves of garlic
8 cups of water
8 beef bouillon cubes (you could also use beef broth if you have a thing against bouillon)

Rinse the dry beans (check for rocks) in the morning the day before you want to eat them, cover with water, and let them soak throughout the day.  That night, rinse them again and put them in the crock pot the with the remaining ingredients.  Make sure the water covers the beans by a couple of inches.  Cook on low all night and through the next day (about 20 hours).  Remove and discard the ham hock, onion and garlic.  Serve with shredded cheese, avocado, and a little fresh lime juice (sour cream, tomatoes, and green onions are all good on top, too).