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Smoky Pinto Beans

Smoky Pinto Beans
This recipe is surprisingly simple to make, especially if you have never cooked with dried chiles or beans before. The beans will need to soak and cook for 2-3 hours, but the active cooking time for this recipe is less than 30 minutes. Perfect for a leisurely Sunday, and there will be leftovers you can freeze for later.

Submitted by: Geoff Marshall from Chicago, IL


Preparation Instructions:

Sort beans, discarding any shriveled ones, and rinse them in cold water.

In a large pot, bring 6 - 8 cups of water to a boil. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of salt in the water. Add beans and cook for 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat, cover with a lid, and let beans sit in the warm water for at least one hour. You can gently stir beans halfway through.


While the beans are soaking, bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a smaller pot. (This is to rehydrate the chiles.)

Remove stems and seeds from the dried chile peppers, wear gloves if you can.

Place chiles in a small bowl, cover them with warm water, and cover the bowl in plastic wrap. Let these chiles sit, steam, and rehydrate for at least 20 minutes.

Remove chiles from the bowl, discard the water, and finely chop the chiles with a knife. Set aside chopped chiles for later.


After the beans have been soaking for one hour, reserve 2 cups of bean soaking liquid, drain the rest of the beans in a colander.

Before returning the beans to the same pot, heat a tablespoon of cooking oil and sweat the chopped onion with the adobo seasoning. You just want to cook them a little bit to warm up the flavors of both the spices and the onion.

Add the beans to the pot along with 2 cups of reserved bean water, 4 cups of fresh water, the chopped chiles, bay leaves, and teaspoon of vegetable soup stock base.

Bring pot to a gentle simmer while gently stirring everything together. Leave lid askew and simmer beans for another 1-2 hours or until beans are tender. (You may have to add water as they cook.)

Stir beans occasionally as they simmer. Keep heat low so as not to overcook the beans.

When beans are close to finished cooking, add the juice of 1 small lime.

Serve beans with warm tortillas and garnish with fresh onion, cilantro and radish.

More About This Recipe

This vegan recipe is great for adding to vegetarian quesadillas. You can also use this recipe to make refried beans. For deeper flavors, try toasting the chiles in a dry pan before rehydrating them. You can add meat to this recipe as well. Chorizo, ham, bacon, or turkey would go well with the other flavors.



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