Pinto Beans

Lately I've been eating a lot of pinto beans. They're cheap and I've realized they're a lot tastier than I thought, even with relatively little added to them. They also tend to make this nice goopy "gravy" which is pretty tasty and makes a bowl of pinto beans into a more cohesive dish (as opposed to just a bowl of beans.)

I usually cook one 1-pound bag of dried pintos at a time:

Sort and rinse 1 pound of dried pinto beans. Dump them in a large pot. (6 quarts?) Cover generously with water. Put the lid on and bring to a boil, watching carefully to make sure it doesn't overflow. Let it boil with the lid on for a minute or two, then turn off the heat. Let sit for at least an hour. I've been letting it sit for much longer than that.

When you come back and are ready to give the beans your attention again, peel and quarter a medium-large onion and stick that in the pot. Peel and slice 2-3 cloves of garlic and add it in as well. Splash a few drops of oil in the pot to prevent things from boiling up and getting too foamy. (This may or may not help, but I like to think it does.) Turn on the heat again and let it cook on as high a flame as possible without boiling over. I keep the lid on if I can find that magic temperature that's low enough that it won't boil over. Cook forever and ever (probably a bit over an hour?) until the beans are soft, adding a little water from time to time if necessary.

When they're done, add in salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder to taste. I eat them plain, sprinkled with cheese, or in a burrito. Originally I cooked them to mix with salsa, but I discovered they're nice without the salsa too.

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