So I’m pretty sure that I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I love beans. As a former resident of Texas (and a general Tex-Mex enthusiast), the pinto bean occupies a special place in my culinary heart. They are full-bodied and earthy with a pleasing texture, they are nutritionally dense, and, of course, they are incredibly inexpensive.
I usually don’t have several hours to properly slow cook them, and I’m usually to rushed in the morning to drop them in a crock pot. So, when we decide to have pintos with dinner, I pull out the pressure cooker.
- 2 tsp. bacon grease (more or less to taste)
- 1 white onion, diced
- 4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 to 6 dried chile pequin, crushed*
- 1 lb. dried pinto beans
- 2 to 3 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- If time allows, soak beans in cold water, drain, and rinse.
- Heat grease in bottom of pressure cooker. Add onion and saute until onion begins to turn translucent. Add garlic and crushed peppers, stir, and saute for an additional minute or two (don’t let the garlic burn).
- Add 4 cups of cold water. Add in beans and enough additional water to cover beans by at least two inches. Stir, affix the lid of the pressure cooker, and bring up to steam. Allow to cook at full pressure for about 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes at full pressure, remove lid and continue simmering for an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour, until beans are cooked. Check beans – once they are soft (but not fully cooked), add in bay leaves, salt, and pepper.
*I don’t think I’ve ever seen pequin peppers in the store – they grow all over Texas, and if you happen to know anyone with a bush, they’ll have piles and piles of them to share. I suppose you could use regular red chile flakes.