One thing leads to another. That is definitely the case with this post. It all started with the Sunday Supper Beantastic event. I noticed a bag of pinto beans in my pantry when I was deciding on what to make for it. Plus it was also right after having terrible charro beans at a restaurant. Even though I decided to share a soup for the Beantastic event, a Mexican inspired side dish also went into the works. A few days later a big pot of Spicy Pinto Beans was simmering on my stove.
Charro beans and spicy pinto beans have a lot in common. Both are made with pintos, tomatoes, onion, and peppers. Charro ones are soupier and usually made with serrano or chipotle peppers and sometimes ham or chorizo. Spicy pinto beans are more like traditional southern pinto beans seasoned with salt pork plus cooked with jalapeño peppers, green onions, and tomatoes.
The heat level can be adjusted to taste. It’s easy to do with more or less jalapeño peppers. I like it hot so I used four very large peppers. Actually, they were the largest jalapeños I’ve ever seen. I need to find out what variety they are so I can plant them this summer. Or I should save the seeds and see if I am successful in planting them.
What do you like to serve along with pintos? It was a toss-up with these spicy ones between ham and something Mexican like Carne Asada. Cornbread usually seems a perfect match however this time I wondered about soft tortillas. I’m thinking both would work nicely. I have plenty so there is opportunity to see which one I prefer. Let me know what you would serve them with because ideas and inspiration are always welcome. Your suggestions could lead me to another fun and tasty kitchen adventure.
Spicy Pinto Beans
- 1 pound dried pinto beans
- 1/4 pound salt pork sliced
- 3 to 5 jalapeño peppers seeded and chopped
- 3 green onions thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 can diced tomatoes 15 ounces
- 4 cups water
- Salt and pepper
Place beans in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Cover with at least 3 inches of water. Soak beans overnight. Drain and pick through beans to remove any bad beans or small rock bits.
Return soaked beans to the pot. Add salt pork, jalapeño peppers, green onions, garlic, tomatoes (with juice), and 4 cups of water. Stir to combine.
Bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover loosely, and simmer for 3 hours or until beans are tender. Gently stir occasionally. Add more water if needed during the cooking process.
Remove and discard salt pork slices. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I added about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper).
Prep time does not include soaking dried beans overnight.