Nobody is suppose to have a recipe for Pinto Beans. Pinto Beans are one of those things that just "are". No you don't buy them in a can. When I was growing up you bought them in a big, really big, cotton sacks, or dried them yourself. There was always a pot of green beans cooking in the summer and a pot of pinto beans cooking in the winter
These beans need to be soaked in a big pot of water over night. They will swell up to twice there original size and be all wrinkled. Before you soak them, you need to wash and "look" your beans. Look is just what it says. Look and see if there is anything strange in the beans and take it out.
These beans will melt in your mouth and be covered in a thick dark gravy. Don't even think about serving these without a big pan of cornbread. If you're in South Carolina or Georgia you will serve them over fluffy white rice.
Pinto Beans and Gravy
3 or 4 servings
1 cup dried pinto beans
6 to 7 cups water, may need more as they cook
1 pound ham hock or smoked neck bones
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
No, I did not leave the salt out. Check it later. The ham hock or neck bones should be plenty.
1. Soak the beans, covered in water overnight; drain. They do not need to be in the refrigerator unless you keep your house at 90 degrees.
2. In a 2-quart saucepan, bring 6 cups of the water and the ham hocks or neck bones to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 1 1/2 hours. Add the beans, onion and black pepper. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for another 1 1/2 hours until beans are soft. If water cooks away, and it will, add more water as necessary to the pot.
COOK'S NOTE: Smoked neck bones are my choice in this and many other dishes. If you find them get a bunch. Pinto beans are so much better cooked one day, refrigerated and eaten the next.