When I first started this recipe I had searched high and low for a recipe to make beans in a Celebrating Home Bean Pot. It made sense to me that surely someone had figured out how to do it. But guess what, if they had they weren’t telling anyone about it. And since I’m not one to keep my mouth shut for very long about anything. (Please don’t tell me any secrets! Jus’ Sayin’.) I am gonna share with you how I did it and to be honest that’s my preferred method. Not because I am the only one who’s figured out how to do it, but because the soup was just the right thickness to my liking. I like my bean soup thick. But, I sometimes cook beans on top of my stove and most recently since I have my shiny new red slow cooker I use that method too. So, here I’ve compiled as many ways and methods as I have found for making beans. I’m just sure and certain you could make just about any dried bean you wanted to using one of the methods to my madness.
My apologies for there being no pictures to post. I just got busy and forgot to take any while I made my beans on Saturday. But I wanted to go ahead and post this blog just in case someone was needing to know how to do this and I had it on my mind. I promise I’ll go back and add pictures next time I make beans. One pound cooked beans usually makes us about 4 meals. So, it will probably be next month. Did I forget to mention, cooked dried beans freeze well. I just let them cool and then put about 2 cups with the soup in the little freezer storage containers with blue lids. Refrigerate overnight and then pop them in the freezer the next day. I suppose you could just as easily put them in zippered freezer bags. Which might make for easier storage in the freezer too. When you get ready to serve them, just take them out of the freezer, let them thaw out and reheat in a saucepan on the stove-top or in the microwave in a microwave-safe dish.
1 lb. dried beans-we prefer pintos
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix or **Homemade Onion Soup Mix (recipe below)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
4 slices salt pork, fried, reserve drippings or approx. 3/4 lb. ham end pieces* or a ham bone (if you can find one where you shop or have one from a Ham you’ve baked)
To Soak or Not to Soak?
I admit it. I’m a Soaker. Now I can totally understand why you would need to use the NO-Soak method to make beans. And if Christy Jordan says it can be done, by golly I believe her. Her and Ree Drummond and Paula Deen are my heroes. Well, when it comes to cooking anyway.
No Soak Method: Sort beans removing any rocks or debris and place in slow cooker. Add seasonings. Completely cover with water filling slow cooker to within one inch of the top. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Overnight soak method: Sort beans removing any rocks or debris. Rinse and drain. Place in a lg. pot and fill with fresh water. Cover and let sit 8 hours or overnight.
Quick soak method: Sort beans removing any rocks or debris. Rinse and drain. Place in a lg. pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil for 2 min. Turn off heat. Cover and let stand 1 hr.
When ready to cook pour off water used for soaking and place beans in a Bean-Pot, Crock-Pot or back in the lg. pot to cook on the stove top. Fill with water (about 2 inches above beans) Add onion soup mix, salt pork and drippings or ham. Stir to combine.
Bean-Pot Method: Cover Bean-Pot place in a preheated 300* oven. Bake for about 2 1/2 – 3 hrs. Remove from oven, stir and add salt and pepper. Add more water as needed. Cover and return to oven. Continue baking @ 300* until beans are tender and soup is thickened.
Crock-Pot Method: Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Stove Top Method: bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and cover. Stir occasionally and add more water, as necessary. Simmer 2-1/2 hours or until beans are tender and soup is thickened.
Pintos are one of our favorite meals with cornbread, Christy Jordan’s: Southern Plate Simple Squash and Zucchini (I add potatoes and onions) and Christy Jordan’s: Southern Plate pickled onions.
*-I was unable to find a ham bone at Wal-Mart when we went shopping, but what I did find made my taste buds sing for joy. I thought it was Farmland brand, but since I didn’t save the wrapper and I can’t find it on Farmland’s or Wal-Mart’s web site, please don’t hold me to it. But I did find a package of spiral sliced ham ends and pieces for seasoning. I used a few pretty big chunks of it in our beans and even chopped some of it up to put in some scrambled eggs that same day. It was a little less than a 2 lb. pkg. and it cost around $3. I still have about half of it in my refrigerator to use later. I’ll freeze it if I don’t use it in the next day or two. I did find a couple of different brands on Wal-Mart’s site, neither of which are carried in our local stores, go figure. All I know is when I opened the package on Saturday morning I was taking little bits of it and popping it right into my mouth and munching away. It was yummy. Hopefully I’ll be able to find it again someday.
**Homemade Onion Soup Mix
4 tsp. beef bouillon granules
3 T. dried onion flakes
2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
Stir ingredients together. If beef granules are too large, simply put them in a small baggie and roll over them with a rolling pin until they resemble a fine powder. Store in an airtight container in the pantry, or in the freezer.