Slow Cooker Ranch-Style Pinto Beans Recipe

Slow Cooker Ranch-Style Pinto Beans
Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: | Makes: 6 servings

Unlike sweeter, molasses-y Boston Baked Beans, these pintos are savory with a bit of heat. Soak the beans overnight and then put them in the slow cooker with beef broth, tomato sauce, chili powder, ancho chile powder, garlic, jalapeño, and a ham hock for some fatty, smoky flavor. Let them cook until softened and saucy, and serve with Cheesy Enchiladas for a Tex-Mex meal.

Game plan: Be sure to soak the beans the night before you plan on making this recipe.

The beans can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw in the refrigerator before reheating over low heat.

This recipe was featured as part of our Slow Cooker Recipes for Hot Summer Days.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 medium white onion, small dice
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 smoked ham hock
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place the beans in a large bowl and pick through them, discarding any broken beans or stones. Cover the beans with at least 3 inches of cold water and allow them to soak uncovered at room temperature for at least 8 hours. Drain in a colander and place in a 3-quart or larger slow cooker.
  2. Add the remaining measured ingredients except the ham hock and stir until combined. Nestle the ham hock in the center of the mixture at the bottom of the slow cooker. Cover and cook until the beans are tender and the liquid has thickened slightly, about 6 hours on high or 7 to 8 hours on low. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  3. If desired, remove the ham hock to a cutting board. When it’s cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bone (discard the skin and bone), shred it into bite-sized pieces, and stir it back into the beans.