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Old 03-04-2005, 12:22 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 3,549



2 lbs. Pinto beans
Ham hock or ham bone (other available meats discussed
Garlic to taste
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon iodized salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon marjoram or oregano, or to taste
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 pinch of rosemary, or more
1/2 to 1 cup Karo dark corn syrup
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce (or 2 cans, if desired)
1 tablespoon olive or corn oil, if using dry or canned meat
3 tablespoons corn starch (optional method)

Rinse and sort 2 pounds of pinto beans using a large
colander. Pour beans into a 5 quart stock pot or larger.
Pour in cold water to 4 inches above the beans...they will
swell overnight.

In the morning, pour off soaking water. Move the pot to the
stove and fill a pitcher with cold water to cover the beans
(Taking the water to the beans is easier than carrying a
heavy pot of beans plus the water!)

Bring pot to a boil. Lower heat to a slow simmer. At this
point I add a ham hock or ham or pork roast bone with some
adhering meat.

Now add salt, garlic, black pepper, plus several pinches of
Rosemary, and Marjoram or Oregano. Add crushed red pepper or
chopped Jalapeno pepper (optional)...this amount is not hot,
just flavorful. If a pepper lover, use more.

Stir in ingredients, bring pot to a bubbling simmer and
cover. Simmer for ½ hour.

Next, I add Karo dark corn syrup and tomato sauce (or
paste), and olive or corn oil (if the meat used contains
little or no fat).

Continue simmering for 1/2 hour or until beans are tender,
stirring as needed to prevent sticking.

Add water as needed. If there is too much liquid, remove pot
lid during the last part of cooking. But a "pot watcher be"
as liquid evaporates quickly left unattended!

At this time, I mix the corn starch with a cup of cold
water, and dip a half cup of the hot pot liquor into the
corn starch mixture. Blend quickly and stir into the pot.
This thickens the pot liquid into a sauce instead of a
splashy juice.

The pinto's are now cooked and ready for a healthful meal.
Beans are a "half protein," so served with a small amount of
meat, cheese or milk they become a full protein source.

* Use any left over ham parts, including rinds, scrape
excess fat from ham rind pieces and put them in with the
beans. The rind will soften with cooking, adds flavor and is
also edible.

Helpful hint: Instead of a cooking spoon, use a large size
spatula, as its shape alone will scrape the bottom of the
pot while stirring...more efficient to prevent sticking,
which leads to scorched foods. An old friend once taught me
this method to prevent scorching when cooking large pots of
food or in jelly making.

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