Extra-Hearty Pinto Beans

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Yield: about 4 quarts


  • 2 pounds dry pinto beans
  • 4 pounds ham hocks, rinsed
  • 1 (12 ounce) can beer
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 3 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro or parsley, chopped
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste


  1. Sort beans and rinse. Place beans in 6- to 8-quart pan; add ham hocks, 2 quarts water and beer. Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover and simmer until beans are almost tender (about 2 1/2 hours).
  2. Meanwhile, in 10- to 12-inch fry pan over medium heat, cook onions and garlic in oil, stirring often until onions are limp (about 10 minutes).
  3. Stir in the tomato sauce, bouillon cubes, cilantro or parsley, chili powder and cumin. Bring to boil over high heat; turn heat to medium-low and simmer sauce, uncovered, until reduced to 3 cups (about 20 minutes).
  4. Stir tomato mixture into beans. Cover and continue to cook until beans are tender to bite and meat pulls easily from bones (about 45 minutes).
  5. Lift out ham hocks; discard bones and fat, return meat to beans. Season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper.