If you work, you’ll probably want to make these beans on the weekend. Believe me, they keep in the refrig a few days, and you can freeze them. I’d say put the coal miner’s pinto and navy beans in smaller containers, freeze and then use for so many things from refried beans to shakshuka to chili!
Growing up in Southern West Virginia where coal was king back in the day, pinto beans and cornbread could be found on most family tables at least weekly if not more times. Beans are healthy and nutritious (am I repeating myself?). Beans are affordable. And,beans are versatile.
For me, making a big pot of beans is all about the seasoning. So, I say ‘be not afraid’ of a little fat back, salt-cured, because it goes a long way in the flavor department. Plus, hold off on any salt as the salt-cured has plenty in it. I also used a beef shank. Why? Because I got it for $1.97 and knew it would pack some punch, plus once cooked and tender, I could shred the meat, not much but just enough for ‘elegance’ and ‘luxury’, and make those beans even tastier! Hey, a ham shank works well, too. Remember, fat adds flavor, but you want to use it in moderation. Isn’t that the operative word for most all great things in life!
Now, if you’re from coal minin’ country and you’re right here now looking at this recipe, please take a minute and leave me one of your best stories about pinto beans and living in Appalachia! Food is inexplicably intertwined with our memories!
Here’s something really fine to eat with your beans! Bacon dripping collard greens! YUM!!