1pounddried pinto beansrinsed, picked over, and soaked
2whole dried red chiliesoptional
2tablespoonstomato pastesee tip below
2-3teaspoonschili powdermay use all or part chipotle chili powder
1green bell pepperminced
First Step for All Methods
Cover the beans with water and presoak them overnight; OR do a quick-soak by bringing them to a boil for one minute, removing them from the heat, and allowing them to stand, covered, for one hour.
Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot
Drain the soaking liquid from the beans. Place them in the pressure cooker with the water, onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, and chilies. Close the pressure cooker and bring it to high pressure; cook for 5 minutes at high pressure. (Instant Pot: Set pressure cooking time to 5 minutes.) Remove from heat and allow the pressure to come down naturally.
Regular Stovetop or Crockpot
If you’re cooking them in a regular pot or crockpotCook until the beans are just soft enough to eat. The time will vary depending on your beans and method of cooking, but on the stove, allow at least an hour of cooking; in the slow cooker, count on at least 3 hours on high or 6 on low. Then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Final Step for All Methods
Open the cooker and remove the dried chilies, if you used them (squeeze them gently to get out all the flavor, but don’t add the seeds to the beans if you don’t want them to be spicy). Add the remaining ingredients and cook, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes. Adjust seasonings to your own taste. Serve hot with fresh salsa.
When I make salsa, I never measure ingredients, so this is just a list of what I usually add:
chopped green pepper
chopped red onion
minced jalapeño pepper
I mix it up and let the flavors mingle for about 15 minutes before using.
Tip: After you open a can of tomato paste and use what you need, freeze the rest in a freezer bag for a later use. Flatten the bag so that it’s easy to break off a chunk of tomato paste whenever you need it.This makes about 8 servings of beans. Try it as a filling for burritos, or mash it and “fry” it in a non-stick skillet for refried beans.