Pinto beans, also known as Brown Beans, is a meal that I grew up on. Both my grandmother and mother would make this meal and serve it with cornbread, fried potatoes, and sauerkraut. I continue to do the same, except I use an Instant Pot to make my beans and Simple Truth Organic Gluten Free Cornbread Baking Mix to make corn muffins.
I love my Instant Pot! We were gifted one as a wedding gift and it has been a gift that I use every week to help get dinner on the table. Traditionally, this recipe would cook hours on the stove, but with using the Instant Pot it only takes about 90 minutes. The beans are done after cooking 45 minutes under pressure, but I like to switch my pot to sauté mode and cook the beans on a boil for another 20 minutes. This extra step helps to create a thick broth.
I also take another step before I cook dried beans, and that is the Hot Method Bean Soak. The Hot Method Bean Soak is boiling the beans in water and then allowing them to soak for at least 4 hours before cooking. I have included the instructions here. This step is not required and can be skipped all together, but I find it helpful. This is something that I learned at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and I have been doing it for years now. Soaking the beans makes them more digestible by breaking down the complex sugars which decreases symptoms of gas and bloating. It also reduces the amount of phytic acid making the nutrients more bioavailable for optimal absorption. Pinto beans are very nutritious and contain more than just fiber and protein. They also contain minerals, vitamins, and omega 3-fatty acids.
The added ham bone makes this recipe delicious! It enhances the beans by adding a rich and smoky flavor. If you do not have a ham bone, you can use leftover ham, or purchase a ham hock at the grocery store. A money saving tip that I use is to freeze the bones from holiday ham and turkey. When cleaning up the holiday meal, save the ham and turkey bones in ziplock freezer bag, and toss in the freezer. Then, when you are ready to cook bone broth or beans you have them on hand and you won’t have to buy them from the butcher. If cooking with bones freaks you out, just replace the ham bone with 4 to 5 thick slices of ham meat. My mother and my mother-in-law both fix a ham for Christmas…which means that we get to bring home the leftovers! We will have tons of leftover ham, so I freeze the ham slices in ziplock freezer bags. I then re-purpose that holiday ham for all kinds of recipes such as: beans, omelets, ham biscuits, casseroles, and sandwiches. There is no scrap left behind in this house! What is something that you like to cook with leftover ham or bones?
- 16 ounce dried organic pinto beans
- 1 ham bone, ham hock, or 4-5 thick slices of ham.
- 5 cups water
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Place ham bone in instant pot.
- Add the beans, water, and black pepper.
- Place lid on pot, turn to locked position, and set vent to sealed position.
- Manually switch pot to "pressure cook" for 45 minutes.
- When cooking time is complete, allow pot to naturally release for 15 minutes.
- After the 15 minutes is over, turn the vent to venting position and allow steam to vent until the floating valve drops.
- Turn lid to unlock it, and remove it from the pot.
- Remove ham bone from the pot of beans and discard.
- Set pot to sauté and allow beans to boil for 20-30 minutes until desired thickness.