This is another oldie but goodie that I just had to rework the pictures for since they totally don't do these Red Beans justice anymore. Plus, I thought I'd add in the instructions for how to cook these old fashioned beans in the crock pot!
Today is bittersweet just like it was when I originally posted this recipe.. My grandma is heading home to Oregon soon after her extended stay of about a month. While she was staying here with me we got to talking with my mom about things that my great-grandmother use to cook for the family. I'm always looking for inspiration, and my family is one of the first places I go.
One of her most requested dishes was something she called 'red beans', but I should warn you... they aren't actually red beans (kidney beans) like one might think. They are pinto beans! I think she may have called them 'red beans' because they turn a sort of redish color after they cook all day long.
At any rate, 'red beans' were something that she would cook up regularly. Friends and family apparently asked for them whenever they would come to visit! They're budget friendly and one of those simple sort of meals that you don't need to pair anything else with. Except maybe corn bread in some form or another.
I've basically taken the recipe from my mom and grandma and tweaked it just slightly to be a more healthy dish. My great-grandma was one of those that wasn't shy about using bacon grease in nearly everything she cooked. I won't judge though, the woman lived into her 90's so clearly whatever she did back then worked!
My mom and grandma both say that my great-grandma's red beans were often a stand alone dish, only ever served with cornbread on the side!
I was a bit too young to remember many of my great-grandma's cooking years, but I hope that I was able to make her proud today. I did my very best to channel my inner Texas southern belle.
My Great-Grandma's "Red Beans"
TheSkinnyFork.com - Originally Posted Nov. 10, 2013
Servings: 6 • Size: About 1 Cup of Beans • Calories: 101.7 • Fat: 0.8 g • Carb: 31.3 g • Fiber: 19.3 g • Protein: 10.8 g • Sugar: 1.3 g • Sodium: 48.3 mg
1 lb. Dry Pinto Beans, Sorted & Rinsed
1 Medium Onion, Halved
3 Slices Center Cut Low Sodium Bacon, Raw
1/2 Tbsp. Fine Sea Salt
1/2 Tsp. Paprika (I prefer 'smoked' paprika here.)
Salt & Pepper to Taste
1/2 Tsp. Cayenne
Place the beans, 1 onion, 3 slices of bacon, 1/2 Tbsp. salt (and any other additional add-ins) into the bottom of a crock pot.
My onion today was half chopped and half 'whole'.
Cover it all with a good 2-3" of water; secure the lid and set to cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
Divide evenly among bowls once done, and enjoy right away!
I served mine with some roasted okra halves and baked hush puppies!
Original STOVE TOP Directions:
Place the beans in a large stock pot with about 1-2 inches of water.
Secure the lid and set to soak overnight.
After a good 24 hours drain and rinse the beans once more and transfer them back into the stock pot; cover with another 2-3" inches of water.
Add in the bacon, onion, and salt.
Bring the pot just to a boil on the stove then cover and reduce heat to medium-low or low and cook for 2-3 hours. You want them to just simmer. I left mine on the lowest setting on the stove since my stove tends to run a little hot.
Check in and stir every 30 minutes.
Add a little more water if it starts to cook down too much - you want a little 'bean broth' going on there.
Once done, divide among bowls and serve with some warm cornbread!