In these lean economic times we are all looking for healthy ways to feed our family on a dime. It is even better when the results are better then what you can get in the store!
I started doing my own beans a little over a year ago and have not bought store bought beans since. It is so easy to do up a pot of beans and have them in the fridge for lunches, a quick side or dinner. I have given this recipe out a hundred times and it is a staple for a lot of my family. I had 2 requests for it this week so I thought I better get it posted. I originally got this recipe from Amy over at Sisters Dish. She is a great one for build your own Mexican food.
This process you can use to make any kind of beans. I have done white beans, and black beans using this same technique. I have also frozen the cooked beans and used them in soups and they defrost perfect.
I buy my pinto beans at Costco. You can get a 25 pound bag for about 10 bucks. Honestly we went through our first bag in about 6 mos. I buy my spices in bulk from Smiths or Winco. They are a tiny fraction of the cost there.
The night before I rinse and soak 3 cups of beans. My sister Meesha soaks 6 cups and then uses 1/2 and freezes 1/2 so her next batch is pre-soaked......genius. If you see any foam on top you will want to scoop it off. This is the name of the game in keeping your beans from being gassy. Anytime during the process if you see foam....scoop, scoop, scoop. In the morning...or when you get to it...rinse the beans with fresh water (another digestion helper). Put the beans in a crockpot (just the regular size not the huge size) with 3 Tbsp bacon grease (I always leave the grease out and it is still great). Cover them with water (you want to have about 2 inches over the beans). Cook them on high for 6 hours, or low for 8-10 hours. Remember watch for foam and check to be sure the beans stay covered in water. The cooking time is not an exact science. Older beans take longer to cook. You will know it is done when you can easily mush one on the counter.
When the beans have about a 1/2 hour left to cook add: 5 jalapeno rings (I keep a jar in my fridge just for this, you could probably do fresh), 1/2 T season salt, 1/2 T garlic salt, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1 T chili powder. After the 1/2 hour scoop the beans into a food processor (or blender, or hand mash). Add 1 cup cheese and enough liquid to bring it to the consistency you would like (don't skimp on the liquid, it makes them great). Good luck!