Is there anything less glamorous, less thrilling than a pile of beans? Common beans, simply seasoned beans, just cooked and served, not even drained of the excess pot liquor. The humble staple food has kept many afloat in hard times, but it’s not exactly something to write home (or a blog post) about.
At least, that’s what I thought until I landed in Austin and had the pleasure of spending time there with born and raised Texans. They’d like the world to think that barbecue sauce flows through their veins and they cry tears of Big Red in agony, but in truth, these people are powered by pinto beans. Simmered for hours until meltingly tender with little more than salt and pepper, perhaps a chili or a bit of bacon, and for a really fancy flourish, a dab of sour cream can be found swirled on top.
As much as bread or a side of slaw, beans complete the meal. I was once told that if you find yourself at a picnic in Texas without any beans at the table, it’s not really a party; just a meeting at best.
Suspend disbelief, look beyond the humble, spare components, and you’ll begin to believe it, too.
- 1 Pound (2 Cups) Dry Pinto Beans
- 5 - 6 Ounces Vegan Bacon
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion, Diced
- 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1/4 Cup Pickled Jalapeno, Minced
- 2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 5 1/2 Cups Water
- Using a pressure cooker, these beans come together without any effort at all. They can also be prepared on the stove top, but you'll want to soak them overnight in that case.
- In a pressure cooker or large stockpot over medium heat, simply combine all of the ingredients and cover tightly. Seal the pressure cooker and set it to the stew, bean/chili, or soup mode, depending on what's available on your particular model. Cook on high for 50 minutes, and allow the pressure to release naturally. This can take 15 - 30 minutes, so be patient. The longer you can wait, the better, too.
- If preparing the beans over the stove, cook for closer to 1 1/2 hours, until perfectly tender.
- Stir well and serve hot.
Sealed in an airtight container, the cooked beans will last for up to 1 week in the fridge.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 539 Total Fat: 38g Saturated Fat: 13g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 23g Cholesterol: 105mg Sodium: 2144mg Carbohydrates: 10g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 1g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 38g