Pick through the beans
and rinse them carefully, looking for any gravel or grit. Rinse the beans
a second time.
Place the beans in a
stockpot or large, heavy saucepan. Cover them with the water and beer
and add the remaining ingredients, except the salt. Bring the beans just
to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer the beans,
uncovered. Plan on a total cooking time of 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
After 1 hour, stir the
beans up from the bottom and check the water level. If there is not at
least 1 inch more water than beans, add enough hot water to bring it up
to that level. Check the beans after another 30 minutes, repeating the
process. Add the salt after the beans are well softened, and continue
simmering. Check them every 15 minutes, keeping the level of the water
just above the beans. There should be extra liquid at the completion of
the cooking time, but the beans should not be watery. If you wish, remove
1/2 to 1 cup of the beans, mash them, and return them to the pot for a
Serve warm. The beans
keep for several days and are even better reheated.
Serves: 6 to 8
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Reprinted with permission
from ©1995 Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison, The Border
Cookbook, published by Harvard Common Press back
to book review
"The dappled pinto bean, a relative
of the kidney bean, takes the honors as the leading legume of the borderlands.
In Texas alone, farmers grow some twenty thousand acres of pintos, but
the state still has to import more than a hundred million pounds of the
beans each year." From The Border Cookbook