Southern-Style Pinto Beans
Cooking with dried beans is one of our favorite ways to make food dollars stretch a mile while still having a delicious, nutritious, protein-packed meal. These organic dried pinto beans are featured in the Southern Cuisine-themed weekly sale from February 25th – March 3rd, and when paired with a few simple ingredients and very minimal effort, you can transform them into a big, hearty meal that holds its own as a main dish or as a side. Make an extra-large pot and freeze your leftovers for a no-fuss meal on a busier night, or stash into lunch-sized portions for a quick pack-and-go lunch. This is the kind of meal that is almost better on the second and third days. The flavors just seem to get richer and more robust. Enjoy over rice and/or with a fresh wedge of skillet cornbread.
Allow the beans to soak overnight (or at least 8 hours) in cool water. Drain, rinse, and set aside. Place a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown the bacon in the hot pot, then remove the bacon and set aside, reserving the bacon drippings in the pot. Add the chopped onion and celery to the pot and stir occasionally, until the onion begins to turn clear. Pour the broth into the pot, us a spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, then add the beans. Season with the bay leaf and a generous amount of salt & fresh black pepper. Bring to a boil, uncovered, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar and allow to simmer 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until beans are very tender. Add additional water or stock as needed during the simmering process to keep the beans just submerged. When the beans are tender, crumble the bacon over the top, add a dash (or more!) of hot sauce, and serve over rice or with wedges of cornbread.