When I was a kid my grandpa would sing this little song
Beans, beans, the musical fruit
the more you eat
The more you toot.
The more you toot, the better you feel.
So eat your beans at every meal!
And we loved to eat our beans. For our family, that meant, putting some pinto beans on the stove with a big ‘ol ham hock and having at it. Well, I’m vegan now, but I still love me some pinto beans, and you don’t even miss the ham hock. For serious. Because of the magical ingredient . . . liquid smoke. They are so yummy.
One of the funniest memories I have, although it wasn’t funny at the time, is of my dad burning some pinto beans.
He had hurt his back, it was the dead of winter, a log fell off the fire and was burning our brand new carpet and the beans were going up in flames. Looking back on it now, it is something straight out of National Lampoons, then it wasn’t so funny. But my dad is hilarious and can do no wrong (my mom just screamed, “what am I, chopped liver?”) so it is so funny now.
Now to the beans of it all. My bean making method is traditional and therefore controversial. There is a new group of cooks who say you need not soak or quick soak your beans. They throw their beans in pressure cookers and say presoaking is for babies. But, you know what, I cry a lot, so call me a baby. I presoak. I like it like that. I quick soak. I like it like that too. Trust me, my beans are the bomb worthy of the name musical fruit, so put that in your pressure cooker and well cook it.
You can find my delightful how to video here:
Batch Cooking Pinto Beans
5 cups pinto beans
3 veggie low sodium broth/ bouillon cubes
3-4 TBS. no salt seasoning
6 dashes liquid smoke
1. Take 5 cups of pinto beans and rinse in cold water. Put in large pot. Cover with water. Make sure water is covering beans by double (the water is twice as high as the beans).
2. Bring the water and beans to a rolling boil and let boil for 2 minutes. Then turn the heat off, and let the beans sit for 2 hours.
3. Drain the beans and rinse them in cold water and put them back in the pot. Cover the beans with water and make sure the water is at least six inches above the beans. Keep checking them throughout the cooking process to ensure the water hasn’t been absorbed or evaporated. If it has, add more liquid.
4. Add the broth cubes, seasoning, and liquid smoke.
5. Bring the water and beans and seasoning to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let them simmer for 2-3 hours or until the beans are soft and creamy tasting.
6. Drain the beans and rinse them in cold water. There will still be seasoning on them, and you aren’t trying to rinse of the seasoning. I just run cold water over them for a few seconds.
7. Scoop them into freezer safe ziplocks or containers. I use 3 cup servings based on my large family, but you can portion them out based on the size of your family.
8. To reheat, either thaw on the counter or in the fridge. You can also just put them in a pan with a bit of water or broth and soften them up. Enjoy!