How to cook pinto beans
My preferred method is to soak (if I have time), combine with a mirepoix and garlic, boil for 10 minutes, then cook until tender (anywhere from 1 to 4 hours). This technique came from Rancho Gordo.
If you’re looking for other methods of bean cooking, this article has quite a few examples.
How to buy beans
Buy beans out of bulk bins you know have quick turnover or from companies that go through inventory at a quick pace. Two of my favorites: Bob’s Red Mill and Rancho Gordo.
How to store beans
Store dried beans in an airtight container, away from light. I prefer to keep my beans in glass jars, kept in my pantry cupboard. While beans can last for some time, I try to make sure I don’t have any beans older than a year in my pantry.
While I cook a pot of beans or two weekly, I also like to freeze pinto beans in their liquid for an emergency stash of beans. Cook the beans as normal, stir in about a teaspoon of 1 ½ apple cider vinegar/pound of beans (a trick I picked up from the Kitchn), and divide into freezer-safe containers. Let cool before sealing.
Most of the times when I’ve crossed paths with pinto beans, it has been in Mexican and Southern cooking. This has transferred to my own kitchen. I love making homemade refried beans with pinto beans, as well as enchilada and taco fillings.
I find that I like to add/swap pinto beans into recipes that use black beans. While the flavors are slightly different, pinto beans make for a good substitution. I also love to add pinto beans to my chili.
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