Please don't laugh expert cooks out there when you think, "a tutorial on how to cook beans," they are supposed to be easy. But this was not the case for me.
The first time I ever cooked beans, I soaked them overnight, then cooked them all day, they came out watery and stinky and tasted like dirt!!! Oh! you are supposed to season them, add other things to them? hmm whoops! (I was about 25 then)
Second time my former "know it all" husband cooked some. I will give him credit for this and this only, they were good. But the ingredient's were not things that normal slackers like me have on hand all the time. (I'm trying to remember) Seems like 3 kind of vegetables maybe celery and bell peppers, I cant remember. (I was about 27 or so then)
So then I talked to my dear old Nanny. Now if you read my blog at all you know that my Nanny is the best cook and artist and crafter around. So if course she would know how to cook the perfect pot of beans. She advised me that I do not have to soak them overnight(it's a waste of time) and that a ham hock(whatever that is) is the best way to flavor them plus some Rotel. Hmm-I love Rotel. She says just season them with things you like.
So now I am almost 31 and have made this version of "my" beans several times and they are so good
So here is what I come up with. Step by step, blog style tutorial here we go:
You will need
Stockpot with lid
1lb bag of pinto beans-brand not important-I get the cheapest
1 center cut ham steak-I use Smithfield-they come 2 in a bag for like $8. (and I'm not getting paid by them or anyone else to talk about beans)
Garlic powder or minced, which ever you got
Onion-yellow or white-sliced
1 Can of Rotel- if you are fresh out of Rotel like we often are at my house you can use Salsa-if you are out of that, then you better go to the store. But you put the Rotel in last so you can start your beans then go to the store.
1. Sort the beans-you have to get the bad ones out. This stumped me too. Which ones are bad, how do I know. SO I figured out that in this case popularity wins the contest. Just sort out the ones that don't look like the rest of them. Here is a pic of the bad ones from today's beans. And my sorting process, I sort the good ones into a strainer, when you are done, rinse them well.
4.Let it cook on low with the lid on most of the day(about 4 hours or until the beans thicken up and the ham is done. During the cooking time you can keep seasoning as you like to keep the garlic taste there and stirring to keep them from sticking. (very important)Today I had to go to the grocery store cause we are out of Rotel.
5. Make some cornbread if you like, it goes great with beans. And enjoy!!!
Now I am always welcoming tips and tricks and new recipes so please if you have any suggestions do share with me!!