There is nothing that says “comfort food” more than a pot of beans bubbling on the stove. I got this recipe a couple of years ago from my friend and part-time neighbor Nancy, I’ve mentioned them before. We met at this bloggers event hosted by Maryland Tourism, and it turned out they have a vacation house next door here on Chincoteague, literally. It’s a small world after all.
Nancy’s husband Len and their daughter Kelsey own and operate Louthan Distilling in Baltimore, who offer amazing locally distilled whiskey and bourbon. Needless to say, we became fast friends, and usually will get together for a potluck type situation when they are down. I always ask that Nancy bring these beans when we do…
Pintos, tomatoes, onions, garlic and spices are simmered in a beer broth for a couple of hours, to make for a flavorful and tender bean – that lends itself great for burritos, or tacos, or on top of cornbread. Also great mashed up and served refried. If you don’t have the time to spare, you can make them in under an hour (from dried state) in the Instant Pot – you’ll find directions for that included with the regular recipe below.
A hefty dose of cilantro stirred in at the end, and a pint of beer on the side – and you’re good to go. Speaking of beer and locally crafted goodness, have you guys heard that we now have a brewery here on Chincoteague Island? The first on the the Eastern Shore of Virginia. W00t! I know, I know – so exciting!
Black Narrows Brewing Company opened their doors at the end of December, and we couldn’t be happier that they’re here. It’s run by a wonderful family, they use local ingredients, and their beer is epic. If you’re visiting the island make sure to stop by and see them on Chicken City Road – right behind the Brant.
Enjoy a pint, and get a yourself growler (or three!) to bring home. The Louthans are heading into town this weekend actually, and I can’t wait to get up there with them and enjoy a pint. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Nancy’s Beer Braised Pinto Beans
1 lb pinto beans, rinsed and soaked overnight (or quick-soak method)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups beer (I like Yuengling – keep it cheap)
2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
3 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Drain and rinse beans. Set aside.
Drizzle oil into a dutch oven or large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, and cook for 2 minutes to soften. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin and cook for another minute.
Add in the beans, tomatoes, beer, water, chicken broth, salt, and bay leaf. Bring beans to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to low.
Simmer for 2-3 hours, until beans are tender. When fininshed, stir in the fresh cilantro and season to taste with salt.
Instant Pot Directions: No soaking of beans needed. Saute onion, garlic and spices. Then add your rinsed beans, tomatoes, beer, broth, water, salt and bay leaf. Manual high pressure for 45 minutes. Stir in cilantro when finished.