pinto beans

smokey ham hock pinto beans

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Pinto Beans

These smokey ham hock pinto beans are off the charts authetically delicious! They’re made with my WV roots and love. The ham hock seasoning is divine!

Honestly, there’s not a more versatile food than pinto beans. I mean so many things can be done with pinto beans from the obvious, eating them from a bowl like a soup to things like refried beans, tacos, burritos, salads. Even some sweet recipes, like cake and cookies are made with pinto beans. 

Growing up in Southern West Virginia in coal-mining country, there was undoubtedly a pot of pinto beans on most everyone’s stove each week. Even coal miner’s made pinto bean sandwiches with leftover pinto beans. Just two slices of white bread and beans. That’s it. 

Now there’s no way I’ll buy a can of pinto beans when I know how easy they are to cook and how amazingly delicious they are. My pinto beans recipes and just bean recipes in general are excellent. And, the think about my pinto beans recipe is that you could substitute another bean if you like. 

Pinto Beans Recipe

It doesn’t take much to make a good pot of pinto beans. But, in my opinion, the best pinto beans are made on the stove top. That’s because I want these beans to cook on a high blaze at a roaring boil for a while. Yes, the liquid evaporates and you have to keep adding water, or say beef broth or stock, but what happens is the finished product is a pot of beans that have a thick rich gravy texture, rather than brothy and soupy. If you prefer more liquidy broth, then just add more water. 

Ham Hocks

The best seasoning agents for cooking pinto beans are ham hocks. Ham hocks are in your grocery store with the pork products usually. If you can’t find ham hocks, then look for a ham shank. And, if you can’t find either ham hocks or ham shanks, then use thick cut bacon (for this recipe 3-4 slices), a bone in pork chop or pieces of pork with fat. Fat simply provides the flavor that you need. But, in my pinto beans recipe, there’s another flavor agent that comes from the nutritional yeast. 

What to Serve with Pinto Beans

Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River
Life is old there, older than the trees
Younger than the mountains, growing like a breeze 

Country Roads, John Denver

Yes, there is a protocol in our house, based on growing up in ‘them thar mountains’ that you have with a big ol’ pot of pinto beans. Here are the real deal what to serve with pinto beans:

Cornbread

Cucumber Salad

Coleslaw

Fried Potatoes

Bean Recipes

Here are some of my favorite bean recipes. Yes, I cook a LOT of beans!

Smoked Anasazi Beans & Herbs

Bourbon Ham Shank Cranberry Beans

Kung Pao Kidney Beans

pinto beans

Yield: About 6+ servings

smokey ham hock pinto beans

pinto beans

These smokey ham hock pinto beans are off the charts authetically delicious! They're made with my WV roots and love. The ham hock seasoning is divine!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups beans, pinto and/or great northern + 14-16 cups water, divided
  • 2 Tbl. nutritional yeast
  • 3 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 ham hock, medium to large size
  • 1 ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. coarse ground pepper

Instructions

Rinse and clean the beans. Put in a bowl and cover with water for about 2-3 hours. Drain water.

Put in large stock pot. Add the nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, ham hock and ten cups of water. Cover with a lid. Turn blaze to high and bring to roaring boil.

Put blaze askew and cook on high for about 60 to 75 minutes, checking occasionally and adding water if needed.

Add more water and cook another about 45 minutes on medium high achieving steady boil, lid askew to let some steam escape.

Bean liquid will begin to thicken like a more gravy mixture. Add water if needed. Check for doneness (beans should be soft and tender). Leave on warm/simmer until ready to serve.

If you want your bean gravy thinner, add more water.

Notes

With leftover beans, you'll need to add water when you reheat because the broth usually thickens.

To make refried beans, simply mash the beans, add a little oil to the skillet and warm, then maybe add ground cumin to give these beans more of a Latin flair.

Your sharing is GOLDEN! Thank you!

Your sharing and comments help me stay in business! Share a photo if you make the recipe #allyskitchen Thank you! xo Ally


pinto beans

2 Comments

  1. Did you know the four corners area of Co, NM, Utah, AZ..is the pinto bean capital‼️..My mom always taught me to buy the lightest colored pintos as possible for freshest..they cook faster and more tender…and i cook mine in chicken broth..💕

    • Roxie! I didn’t know this about the four corners and pinto bean capital! So awesome! I’d be super happy there! And, thanks for that tip from your Mama! I’ll keep that in my box of facts…and, I didn’t know that! Thanks for sharing and spending time w/me in the kitchen, luv xoxo ~ally

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