Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pinto Beans

 I define down home cooking as simple food prepared by people of character with a sense of family and roots. For generations the cooks in my family have prepared good old down home meals. I doubt a recipe exists for much of what has been served in the kitchens of my grandmothers and great grandmothers. This meal is just that kind of food.
How does one teach the art of frying potatoes? I'm not talking about hash browns or home fries. Yes, those are examples of potatoes that are fried but they aren't Fried Potatoes. I don't have a recipe for this simple food. I just cook them the way my mom taught me. She never had a special little cooking class and showed me how. I learned by watching her.

I can tell you how I made the Pinto Beans this time.
Speaking of those pintos, my grandma always called them Brown Beans. Navy Beans were known as White beans. My Grandma Ruth was a woman of great wisdom. I miss her.

Brown Beans
Fried Potatoes
Cornbread
Slice of Tomato

Get it in ya!

Here goes... Now if you are a snob just look away at this point...Cause this is down home cookin' 

Down Home Brown Beans

One small bag of dried pinto beans
3 smoked pork hocks
carrots
onions
salt
pepper
bay leaves

Wash the beans in a colander and pick over them for small rocks etc. Place the beans into a large dutch oven and cover with water. Think of it like this... the more water you use the more broth you will have. I'm only guesstimating here... Approximately 4 quarts. Toss in the smoked hocks and the bay leaves. Bring the beans to a boil and then turn down to simmer. Cook for about an hour and a half. Drain off most of the liquid and add the same amount of fresh boiling hot water back to the pot. Boiling water is a must at this point to keep the beans cooking.
When the beans are smooth and tender, remove the smoked hocks, to cool slightly. Toss in one onion that is quartered and chopped. Add around 3 cups of carrots. Cook until carrots are tender. I taste now for the salt need. Sometimes I salt, most times I do not. Separate the meat out of the hock bones. Just do it...this meat is the best. Add the meat back to the pot. Simmer a little while longer. Season with pepper to taste. Only salt if needed.

Some people soak their beans, I do not.
Some people salt their beans during cooking, I do not
Most do not remove the cooking liquid and then add more, I do.


See I told you, no recipe!

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