I have eaten a lot of pinto beans and rice in my life. They are incredibly inexpensive and really hearty. At one point I was buying a 25 pound bag of pinto beans from the farm coop for about $10. That is a lot of beans.
Beans can get stale. It is really important to make sure you buy the freshest beans you can find. Bulk beans are one way to make sure they are fresh. Old beans don’t taste bad and they are not a health hazard, but they take a lot longer to cook. This is true for all dried beans, including lentils.
The nice thing about this recipe is you can use any type dried beans. I like pinto beans a lot, but you could use red beans or even black beans in this recipe.
Tender, flavorful pinto beans and rice, served with cornbread is one of my favorites.
1 pound or dried pinto beans
1 medium yellow onion
3 stalks of celery
1 green pepper
4 Tablespoons olive oil
3 bay leaves
3 cloves of garlic – minced
2 Tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 (32 ounce) containers of vegetable broth
Almost every recipe for any kind of beans has you start by soaking the beans in water over night. I am never that well organized. There is, however, a cheat. You can place the beans in water – about 6 cups, bring them to a boil and boil them at high heat for 2 minutes, turn off the heat, cover the pot and let them sit for an hour of so. Ta-da! Soaked beans.
Drain and rinse the soaked beans. Leave them sitting in the colander for now.
Chop the onion, celery, and green pepper. In the same large soup pot you used to soak the beans, sauté the onion, garlic, green pepper, and celery in the olive oil over medium high heat until the onion is translucent and the pepper is bright green – about 6-8 minutes. Add the Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper and sauté for another 3-4 minutes. Add in the drained beans, vegetable broth, and bay leaves. Give the pot a good stir. Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer for at least 2 hours or until the beans are tender.
Serve with rice and cornbread.