I learned to make pinto beans from my Grandma, who came from Oklahoma. I’ve added to the recipe, and my Mother used to say mine were the best beans she’d ever tasted. Serve the Southern way – with cornbread and steamed greens.
- 1 pound dried pinto beans
- 6 cups water, or more as needed to cover
- 1 smoked ham hock
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 (6.5 ounce) can tomato sauce
- Cover pinto beans with water in a large bowl. Soak beans for 4 hours, changing water every 30 to 45 minutes. Drain.
- Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Add pinto beans, ham hock, and kosher salt to the pot. Pour in more water if needed to cover ingredients by at least 1 inch.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until beans are just tender, 2 to 3 hours.
- Remove ham hock from beans; cut meat from the bone, chop the ham, and return to pot.
- Stir tomato sauce and brown sugar into the beans. Continue to simmer until beans are tender and flavors are blended, about 1 more hour.