Food & Drink Magazine

Smokey Ham Hock Pinto Beans

By Ally @allykitchen

Pinto Beans

These smokey ham hock pinto beans are off the charts authetically delicious! They're made with my WV roots and love. The ham hock seasoning is divine!

Honestly, there's not a more versatile food than pinto beans. I mean so many things can be done with pinto beans from the obvious, eating them from a bowl like a soup to things like refried beans, tacos, burritos, salads. Even some sweet recipes, like cake and cookies are made with pinto beans.

Growing up in Southern West Virginia in coal-mining country, there was undoubtedly a pot of pinto beans on most everyone's stove each week. Even coal miner's made pinto bean sandwiches with leftover pinto beans. Just two slices of white bread and beans. That's it.

Now there's no way I'll buy a can of pinto beans when I know how easy they are to cook and how amazingly delicious they are. My pinto beans recipes and just bean recipes in general are excellent. And, the think about my pinto beans recipe is that you could substitute another bean if you like.

Pinto Beans Recipe

It doesn't take much to make a good pot of pinto beans. But, in my opinion, the best pinto beans are made on the stove top. That's because I want these beans to cook on a high blaze at a roaring boil for a while. Yes, the liquid evaporates and you have to keep adding water, or say beef broth or stock, but what happens is the finished product is a pot of beans that have a thick rich gravy texture, rather than brothy and soupy. If you prefer more liquidy broth, then just add more water.

Ham Hocks

The best seasoning agents for cooking pinto beans are ham hocks. Ham hocks are in your grocery store with the pork products usually. If you can't find ham hocks, then look for a ham shank. And, if you can't find either ham hocks or ham shanks, then use thick cut bacon (for this recipe 3-4 slices), a bone in pork chop or pieces of pork with fat. Fat simply provides the flavor that you need. But, in my pinto beans recipe, there's another flavor agent that comes from the nutritional yeast.

What to Serve with Pinto Beans

Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River
Life is old there, older than the trees
Younger than the mountains, growing like a breeze

Country Roads, John Denver

Yes, there is a protocol in our house, based on growing up in 'them thar mountains' that you have with a big ol' pot of pinto beans. Here are the real deal what to serve with pinto beans:

Bean Recipes

Here are some of my favorite bean recipes. Yes, I cook a LOT of beans!

Smoked Anasazi Beans & Herbs Bourbon Ham Shank Cranberry Beans Fresh Herb Cannellini Beans

smokey ham hock pinto beans

smokey ham hock pinto beans

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