Plain and Simple Pinto Beans II

If you are looking for a good recipe for a pot of pinto beans, this is it. Of course, we couldn't make it really simple - there's smoked paprika. If you don't have smoked paprika, get some.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 7 cups water
  • 1/4 to 1/2 pound salt pork (as lean as you can find)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Preparation:
  1. Wash and pick over beans. Make several cuts into the salt pork down to, but not through, the rind.
  2. Combine all ingredients, except salt, in a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low simmer. Cook very slowly, covered. Stir beans up from the bottom occasionally, and add water if they start looking dry.
  3. Cook for at least 2 hours. When beans are soft (not mushy), but still hold their shape, they are done.
  4. Makes 6 servings.

Note: People in areas with hard water, like Austin or San Antonio, Texas can cook their beans till the cows come home, and the beans will still be tough or not thoroughly done. If you have that problem, add a scant 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to the cooking water, and you will have one less problem.

Prep time: 15 Min; Cooking time: 2 Hr; Total time: 2 Hr 30 Min

Kitchen tools you'll need:Dutch Oven or Large Saucepan

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