For this recipe I used an heirloom variety of beans called Good Mother Stallard. They are a meaty and creamy bean that taste wonderful eaten alone. A great substitute is the traditional pinto bean. This recipe does cook slowly, however, it's simple and sure to please the pickiest of eaters.
Course Side Dishes
2cupsdried pinto beansor any other variety dense meaty bean
1ham hockor brisket, optional
Salt to taste
Soak 2 cups beans overnight. (Make sure to rinse your beans and rid of any dirt or small pebbles)
The next day, drain the beans and rinse.
In a thick bottomed pot or cast iron dutch oven, add the beans, onions and optional ham hock or brisket.
Add enough water to the pot to cover the beans by 2 inches. Add salt to taste.
Bring to a boil.
Cover and drop the heat to low for 2 to 3 hours or until the beans are soft and the meat is tender and cooked through. Throughout the cooking time, make sure to check the beans and add more water if necessary.
With about a half hour left of cooking time you can begin to cook down the remaining flavors of bacon, garlic and cilantro.
In a pan or cast iron skillet, add the sliced bacon and cook until most of its fat has been rendered. There is no need to brown the bacon.
Once most of the fat has been rendered add the garlic and cilantro and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Add all of the contents in the pan to the pot of beans and simmer for an additional 15 minutes to infuse the flavors.
If you added pork or brisket, remove from the beans, shred and set aside for tacos.
Serve the beans in a bowl topped with freshly grated Queso Fresco, or any other soft cheese, and cilantro.