Slow Cooker Pinto Beans
Serves 8 or more as a side dish
1 pound bag of dried pinto beans, rinsed and picked over
(discard any that look too shriveled and any stones you find)
3-4 cups vegetable stock (optional, you can use all water
to cook the beans)
6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled, cloves cut in half
One large white onion, cut in ¼-inch dice
2 tablespoons (or more) ancho chili powder, divided use
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 14.5-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, liquid
drained and reserved
4-5 pickled canned jalapeño peppers, seeds removed and
peppers minced (you can use the sliced ones in a jar if you like, but it’s
harder to get all the seeds out)
2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt and freshly-ground pepper
The night before you plan on cooking the beans, put them in the slow cooker crock and cover them with cool water by at least two inches. The next day, drain off the water and return the beans to the crock.
Add the garlic cloves, onion, 1 tablespoon of the ancho chili powder, the cumin, and about a teaspoon of salt. Pour in two cups of stock if you’re using it, and two cups of water. Add more stock and water in equal amounts to cover the beans by at least an inch (but no more
than two). Cover and cook on high power for 7 hours.
Carefully drain the liquid from the crock into a saucepan and add the reserved liquid drained from the tomatoes. Over high heat, bring the liquid to a boil and reduce it by about 2/3. Add it back to the crock and taste the liquid for salt. Add at least another tablespoon of ancho chili powder, the drained tomatoes, the pickled jalapeños, a tablespoon of lime juice, and some black pepper. Cover and cook on high power for another hour, then add more lime juice before serving.