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Easiest way to make this is in a slow cooker, but can make it on the stove top as well. You'll just have to spend a lot more time checking and stirring etc. If you don't have a slow cooker my suggestion is to soak the beans overnight. Just throw them in the pot you'll cook them in with enough water to cover the beans by an inch.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb pinto or black beans
  • 7 cups of water
  • 1 - 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 onion minced
  • 3 - 4 slices bacon or ham hock (optional)
  • 3-4 Jalapenos (optional)
  • 4 - 6 cloves garlic
Steps
  1. For stove-top: Add them to the pot with the 7 cups of water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and let them cook for 2 hours stirring frequently.
  2. For slow cooker: Just pop them in with the water and leave them alone for 2 hours. 30 minutes or so before the 2 hours is up cook the bacon if you're using it (my preferred method) add in the onion, jalapeno and cook for 4 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and cook for another minute. Then add the mixture plus the salt and cumin to the beans and cook for another 6 hours.
Notes
  • If you're using the stove top to make these you'll want to keep watch of your water level in the beans. You might have to add another cup of water as it cooks. You want the water level to stay above the beans. Once they are done cooking I normally remove the beans from the liquid and mash them by hand with a potato masher. Then I add the liquid in slowly so it is the desired constancy that I like. Then taste test to see if you need to add anymore spices to the mixture. 
  • I use this recipe to make bean and cheese burritos for the freezer and 1 batch will make 20 or so. They will stay good in the freezer for up to 4 months! 
  • Source: Ravey / SW Guild