UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention that some people aren’t quite sure how to do pinto beans in a crockpot, so I’m updating the post with an actual recipe:
I love great comfort food and nothing brings back comfort food memories from my childhood faster than a pot of pinto beans with pork. Mom usually used bacon, but I like to throw in a ham hock. It’s so simple, and you can leave the house all day (or work in the gardens) and come home to a nice crock pot of beans and ham!
Of course, I can’t have the frijoles and ham without the cornbread and corn chips–preferably Fritos!
I soak my beans overnight in a bowl of water, then rinse, throw them in the crock pot and cover with lots of water (or broth), ham hock or two, some chiles, onion and pepper. Simply turn on the crock to high and off I go. When I return, I bake a round of cornbread and get to ettin’!
Crockpot Pinto Beans and Ham Hock
1 lb bag pinto beans, sorted and rinsed
Use quick soak method to prepare beans. Place cleaned and sorted beans in a dutch oven, cover them with 6-8 cups HOT water (I use my tea kettle), boil the beans for 2 minutes,place the lid to the dutch oven on the pot, remove from heat and let sit covered for 1 hour.
After one hour, drain and rinse the beans in a colander.
Throw your drained and rinsed beans into the crockpot and cover them with fresh water. Approx. 3 quarts. I simply cover them about 2 inches over the bean level.
Add 2 smashed garlic cloves to the beans and water
Add 1/2 to 1 tsp dried crushed red peppers (less OR eliminate, if you don’t like spicy)
Add one small ham hock (it’s for flavor not meat for me)
About a teaspoon of Kosher salt. Check at 6 hours and see if they need more salt–mine always do.
Place lid on crock pot and cook on high for about 6-8 hours. Do not open the lid to check or stir for at least 3 hours and if you do, cover them back up quickly. If you need more water, add it. The beans should have a soup consistency.
In 6 hours, test beans and if they are cooked, you are done. Still hard? Add some time.
For the cornbread, use your favorite recipe or try one of these: