Tag Archives: legumes

Tackling dried beans


We eat a lot of beans, but I always use canned. I have never been able to master cooking dried beans. The last time I tried was in 2003, when I was studying abroad in Chile, where dried beans were more readily available than canned. My beans were undercooked no matter how long I boiled them for, and I have shied away from them ever since. This weekend, however, I took another crack at them.

I soaked them for 4 hours, then cooked them on high in the slow-cooker for 5 hours.  It worked!  I would definitely only cook one pound next time, though, as two pounds made an entire 6-quart pot.  You could also cook them overnight using the low setting.

Pinto Beans with Smoked Turkey
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

2 lbs. dried pinto beans
2 smoked turkey drumsticks (or a ham hock)
2 red bell peppers, diced
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. kosher salt

1. Cover the beans in cold water, soak for 4 hours or overnight. After they have soaked, drain off the soaking liquid, rinse the beans, and cover with fresh water in the slow-cooker. (The water should be 2 inches higher than the beans.)
2. Add the turkey drumsticks, bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, and garlic to the slow-cooker. Set the slow-cooker to high, and allow to simmer until tender.

3. Remove the turkey legs. Shred the meat and return to the pot.

4. Taste, then season with cumin, pepper, smoked paprika, chili powder, and salt.