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Texas Pinto Beans with Ham Hocks

This Texas Pinto Beans with Ham Hock Recipe is one we finally put down on paper a few years ago.  As in most kitchens across the country, these recipes are passed down.  And the measurement of ingredients was not a hard-fast rule, it was kinda up to the cook’s taste buds on that given day.

 
Pinto Beans with Ham Hock Recipe, Pinto Beans and Ham Hock Recipe

 

A pot of  beans with ham hocks was always a staple at our house growing up, I really don’t remember when mama didn’t have a pot of beans on the stove.    Mama used ham hocks in her pinto beans, I’m sure because ham hocks were cheap and money was tight when I was a kid.   And mama didn’t call these Texas Pinto Beans nor did she consider using ham hocks a special ingredient in her recipe, I think it was her way of giving us a little extra protein.

We grew up eating these pinto beans at almost every meal.  Other than breakfast, our menu was always pinto beans with ham hocks, fried tators, (not to be confused with french fries) macaroni and canned tomatoes served with a big cast iron skillet of cornbread.

 

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Bowl of Texas Pinto Beans

 

After I left home, it was years and years before I could eat pinto beans, in my mind they were a poor man’s food and I linked them to rough financial times.  That and biscuits and gravy, I know, we crave that stuff now.  But when we had biscuits and gravy when I was a kid it was because mama didn’t have bacon nor eggs in the fridge and she never bought dry cereal.  Of course, I outgrew all this and realized my childhood was nothing to be ashamed of nor run from, it was like so many other childhoods during that time.  We were raised by parents that grew up in the depression era and they made every penny count.   Today I am proud of my childhood history and the fact that my children had a life so much easier.

 

Pinto Beans with Ham Hock Recipe

 

I also realized it was hard to eat a plate of BBQ without a side of beans.  And who can live in Texas without a plate of Texas Brisket with a good size helping of beans on the side?   Plus I married my sweet food-loving hubby who craves pinto beans so we begin cooking them again.  And he is my seasoner, he is the one that does the taste test for salt, flavorings, etc and he is always right.

So we took pen to paper and with our cast iron dutch oven, we wrote the best Texas Pinto Beans with Ham Hock Recipe.   We follow this and it’s always great.   And we have even doubled it and it works.

 

Pinto Beans with Ham Hock Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dry pinto beans
  • 1 ½ pounds smoked ham hocks
  • Medium onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin

 

Equipment needed:

  • Large Dutch Oven or Soup Pot

 

How to make Texas Pinto Beans

Instructions:

  • Clean beans by removing any little rocks or debris. Rinse beans well and place in a large dutch oven, fill with water and let soak overnight or at least 3-4 hours
  • Drain and rinse, add enough water to cover beans and bring to a boil. Drain, rinse and add enough water to cover the beans again. These steps will remove the gas from the beans and will reduce cooking time.
  • Bring them to a boil then lower heat to just a simmer, add the whole ham hock, chopped onion, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin. On a low simmer cook for one hour and then begin checking for doneness, adding more water as needed
  • Wait to salt when the beans are barely tender for two reasons, the ham hocks may add enough salt and the beans will get tender faster without the salt.
  • Before serving, remove 1/2 cup of beans, mash and return to the pot for thicker juice.

 

Pinto Beans with Ham Hock Recipe

Did you know that pinto beans are in fact very healthy food?  Loaded with fiber, protein (15 grams per 1 cup)?

 I now view these beans as comfort food embedded deep in our Texas roots and I think a little of mama making ends meet with this big pot of beans, where she filled our bellies with good food even though her wallet was sometimes empty.

 

Other Homestyle Recipes You Might Enjoy:

 

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Pinto Beans with Ham Hock Recipe
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4.74 from 19 votes

Texas Pinto Beans with Ham Hock Recipe

This Texas Pinto Beans with Ham Hock Recipe is one we finally put down on paper a few years ago. 
Prep Time3 hrs
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
0 mins
Total Time4 hrs 30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Beans with Ham Hocks, Ham Hock Recipes, Pinto Beans, Texas Pinto Beans
Servings: 8
Calories: 421kcal
Author: Evelyn

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Clean beans by removing any little rocks or debris. Rinse beans well and place in a large dutch oven, fill with water and let soak overnight or at least 3-4 hours
  • Drain and rinse, add enough water to cover beans and bring to a boil. Drain, rinse and add enough water to cover the beans again. These steps will remove the gas from the beans and will reduce cooking time.
  • Bring them to a boil then lower heat to just a simmer, add the whole ham hock, chopped onion, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin. On a low simmer cook for one hour and then begin checking for doneness, adding more water as needed
  • Wait to salt to taste when the beans are barely tender for two reasons, the ham hocks may add enough salt and the beans will get tender faster without the salt.
  • Before serving, remove 1/2 cup of beans, mash and return to the pot for thicker juice.

Nutrition

Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 180mg | Potassium: 1069mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 4.6mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 4.2mg

Recipe Rating




Ronna

Wednesday 8th of June 2022

I have never been able to get my mom’s “pot of beans” right :( This recipe took me back to those good ol days when my momma would make her AMAZING beans, cornbread and fried potatoes!!!!! Thank you for your delicious recipe ❣️

Evelyn

Friday 10th of June 2022

Oh how sweet! I love this! It makes my heart happy to touch people with recipes that bring all those special memories back. And it was so kind of you to tell me. This makes my day.

Carol

Sunday 13th of March 2022

I’m not sure where the “1 hour 30 min” cook time came from, because I’m into hour 4 with beans that are still not soft. That’s after soaking them overnight. That having been said, the flavor is coming together really well and is very good.

Evelyn

Sunday 13th of March 2022

I'm not sure why yours are not soft yet. Are you at a higher altitude because that will definitely take longer. So glad your are liking the flavors.

Bill

Monday 3rd of May 2021

I loved your story of growing up and also the wonderful comments. Our garden was huge and I ate better and fresher than anyone around. Didn’t always have meat and when we did it wasn’t high quality, but we thrived. The beauty of your recipe is it is adaptable to any type of bean or pea. Black beans, kidney, great northern etc. Thank you so much.

Jeff

Wednesday 24th of March 2021

Thanks for posting. Recipe is very similar to Mama's purple hull peas. We grew up eating those almost every meal with cornbread. A single Mom with 3 kids and a garden. We put up enough every year to make it through to the next. Traded veggies for meat, my brother and I hunted squirrel, deer, dove, quail and fished. Looking back this East Texas hick wishes I could have all those days over again. We didn't survive, WE LIVED AND LOVED!

Evelyn

Thursday 25th of March 2021

And we never knew we were poor right because we did live and loved?

Laurel Pogue Gonzalez

Tuesday 12th of January 2021

Thank you for your story AND your recipe. I was raised dirt poor, the out house the whole 9 yards. But those lessons prepared me for a self sufficient life like no other could. It's a wintery day and chili and corn bread sounded sooo good. I like ham hocks, grandpa used them in his crowder peas. I came across your recipe and said that's it. My Texas chili recipe adds Oregano, Paprika and it is thickened with cornmeal. Believe it or not the cornmeal adds just the right flavor plus thickening. Thank you again.

Evelyn

Friday 15th of January 2021

You know, now that you say that, I believe I have heard of adding cornmeal to beans before. Thanks for the reminder!