I’ve mentioned before how we ate countless pots of my mom’s pinto beans when I was growing up. Fresh, homemade cornbread was always served alongside them. Her cornbread was THE BEST. Maybe not the healthiest because Crisco was involved, but man was it good! 🙂 My mom’s pinto beans never had peppers or cilantro, but they were always amazingly flavorful.
I remember during my first few years of marriage, I tried to cook a pot of pinto beans from scratch. This was before I had any clue about cooking. My “cooking” consisted of heating things up from a can or frozen bag. Anyway, let’s just say my pinto beans did not turn out good. I don’t think they were even as tender as they were supposed to be. I know they didn’t taste anything like my mom’s. Fortunately, I have learned a few things since then.
I first made these on the stovetop, but seriously, nothing beats beans that are slow cooked in the crockpot. The broth is just so much more delicious, and the house smelled amazing while they cooked.
These Pinto Beans with Bacon and Peppers can serve four as a main course or six as a side dish. Oh, and don’t forget the cornbread! It’s a must where I come from. 🙂
Pinto Beans with Bacon and Peppers
- 2 cups dried beans , sorted and rinsed
- 5 slices of bacon
- 2 cups minced white onion
- 1 large jalapeno , minced (use 2 if small)
- 1 medium green bell pepper , diced
- 4 cloves of garlic , minced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups of water
- sea salt to taste
- 1/2 small bunch of cilantro , rough chopped
Place beans into large bowl, add water to cover by 2 inches, cover and let soak overnight. Drain, rinse and place into slow cooker.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook bacon until crisp. Place onto paper-towel lined plate to cool, then crumble. Drain all but 1-2 tbsp of bacon grease. Add the onions, bell pepper and jalapenos to the pan and cook until softened, about 7-8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and spices and let cook for another minute. Place the crumbled bacon and veggies into the slow cooker. Pour in 4 cups of water and stir to combine, then add the bay leaves. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or 4-5 on high. When beans are tender, add the cilantro and sea salt to taste.