If you're a vegetarian, be sure to check out the complementary proteins to serve with pinto beans since pinto bean provides only 8 of the 9 essential amino acids sufficiently, and it ranks low on Methionine. A food that pairs perfectly with pinto beans and can make up for this amino acid is rice! Also, most seeds are high in Methionine, making them a perfect topping to sprinkle over the salad served with pinto beans.
Here are some more important points to remember about bean cookery.
- Buy your beans from a grocery store with a high-turnover rate for bean sales. An old bag of beans could not be revived even if soaked for a week.
- Sort and pick through the beans by spreading them on a tray and looking for pebbles and debris to discard.
- For the best result, soak beans for up to 24 hours at room temperature, stirring the beans around every 8 hours once. Add salt while soaking, which is proven to break apart the tough outer skin and ensure easy cooking.
- If you live in a hard water zone, consider cooking your beans with drinkable water or adding a little baking soda (1 tsp) to ensure softness.
- This dish refrigerates well for up to a week.
- Aleppo pepper may be substituted with cayenne pepper at 50% less quantity.
For the beans
1 lb pinto beans, picked over, rinsed and soaked overnight or up to 24 hours with a tbsp of salt
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved
1 large carrot, chopped into 3 pieces
3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
2 pieces bay leaves
8 cups water for cooking
2 tbsp kosher salt
For the sauce
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 large yellow onion, small diced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp Aleppo pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1) Drain the soaked beans and transfer into a large pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover 1 inch over the beans. Add the onions, carrots, garlic, and bay leaves. Bring the water to boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and cook until beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours, stirring it occasionally. Three-quarters of the way through cooking (after 60 minutes), add kosher salt to season and continue cooking.
2) Meanwhile, heat the cooking oil in a medium frying pan, and add the diced onions. Season with salt and sauté until lightly golden, about 5-7 minutes. Add Aleppo pepper and turmeric powder stirring everything together, and sauté for 2 minutes to bloom the spices. Add tomato paste and saute the onion mixture to cook off the raw tomato taste. Set aside.
3) When the beans are tender, remove the chunks of carrots, onion, and bay leaves. Add the onion mixture, vinegar, and sugar, stirring everything together, and let it simmer on low heat for 30 to 60 minutes. Stir occasionally. When the texture of the dish thickens and sets, taste for additional seasoning. Serve hot or cold.