Monday, January 14, 2013

Day 105 - Slow Cooker Pinto Beans

Corn, stewed onions and ham, slow cooker pinto beans, green beans, and corn bread.

I told you last post that I would have all vegetables and fruit for this lunch, and I got...close?

Growing up, my mom would go to the farmer's market in the summers and just get whatever was fresh.  Beans, squash, tomatoes, whatever.  She'd cook them as simply as possible, and we'd just have a vegetable plate, with maybe some ham or sausage on the side.  I do that in the summers now, but every once in a while I want it in the winter, too.  It's not as good, but I find that even frozen vegetables taste great when I'm just ready for some veggies and vitamins.

So, for today we have last night's leftovers - frozen corn, stewed pearl onions and ham, slow cooker pinto beans, green beans that I had made in the summer and frozen, and some corn bread.  I'm going to tell you all about the pinto beans, because they are ridiculously easy, ridiculously cheap, and pretty tasty too!  Great source of protein, and if you have leftovers you can make refried beans!

Just for your general reference, I buy a whole ham or ham cubes whenever they come on sale and keep them in the fridge for bean and soup cooking - I highly recommend this practice!  A ham bone is even better, but when you're doing small batches like the one below, just a little ham or bacon will be fine.

Slow Cooker Pinto Beans

1/2 cup dried pinto beans (no need to soak)
1/2 cup frozen pearl onions
1/2 cup ham, chopped
1/2 poblano pepper, seeded
2 T chicken bouillion
1 T salt (or less...if you're sensitive to salt, start with one teaspoon and work your way up)

Place all ingredients, in order, in a 2 quart crock pot.  Fill the crock with water until about an inch from the top (if you're using a bigger crock pot, then add at least four cups of water).  Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  Drain and serve hot.

If you're making refried beans later, be sure to save the liquid! Pin It Now!


  1. Can you give me advice on cooking a ham to freeze (or freezing a ham to cook later)?

    1. You know, now that I think about it, I usually only "cook" pre-cooked ham. I don't think I've ever cooked a raw ham (challenge accepted!). In terms of freezing ham for later, I do that all the time. I buy ham when it goes on sale and divide it into single portions. I put each portion in a freezer bag, squeeze out all of the air, seal, and freeze. I find that pork products freeze really well because of their high fat content. In fact, I don't even keep bacon in the refrigerator anymore. Same goes with ham. If I buy more than a few days worth, I'll just throw it in the freezer. And then I just throw a little bag into the crock pot on on the pan straight from the freezer to give things a little more pizazz!