Slow Food: Spicy Beans (with Fermented Jalapeños)

You know I like my slow cookers…and one staple in our household that we only make in our slow cooker is Spicy Beans. Inexpensive, nutritious, and very flexible, these beans are easy to make and even easier to enjoy!

It all starts with dried pinto beans, the kind you can buy in bulk. We can get 50 pounds of dried beans for just under $28. We probably make a batch of beans weekly, and each 1 pound (dry weight) batch of beans will make at least 8 meals – that’s impressively economical! Further, pinto beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals.

So what can you make with cooked pinto beans? We like beans in a wrap…with eggs or with rice, with tomatoes, lettuce, onion, salsa…or in a bowl with crumbled tortilla chips on top. Put them on nachos or just scoop them up on chips. Let your imagination go wild – the plump, satisfying beans are a tasty foundation for creative meals!

Slow Cooker Spicy Beans

  • 1 pound dry pinto beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced fermented jalapeños (more, if you like it more spicy)
  • 1/4 cup spicy ferment brine – jalapeño, poblano, etc.
  • 3 tablespoons lard (optional, but it adds wonderful flavor and creaminess)

Soak the beans overnight in enough water to cover the beans by two inches. The next morning, rinse the beans and put them in your slow cooker (should be at least a 4 quart crock). Add the entire can of diced tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients, along with enough water to cover the ingredients by an inch. Stir to combine, and let the beans cook all day on low. Check the beans’ progress periodically, and add more water if needed.

Have great ideas for slow cooker beans-based meals? Share them in the comments!