What is it?
A small, smooth light red bean, especially popular in the Southwest of the United States. Used interchangeably with the pinto bean in refried beans and chili.
1 cup dried beans = 2 to 2-1/2 cups cooked
Don’t have it?
You can use Pinto beans instead.
How to choose:
Choose dried beans that look plump, unwrinkled, and evenly colored. Pick over dried beans before using to remove any small pebbles.
How to prep:
Canned beans should be thoroughly rinsed and drained before using. Dried should be soaked before cooking, both to speed cooking time and to reduce any gas-causing tendencies. There are two ways to soak dried beans: Overnight soak: Rinse the beans, then cover with an inch of cold water and let soak at room temperature for at least four hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the beans before cooking them. Quick-soak method: Rinse the beans, then put in a saucepan, cover with an inch of water, and bring to a boil. Boil for a few minutes and then let them soak for an hour off the heat, drain, and then add fresh water and continue cooking.
Pink beans will cook in about 60 minutes, though sometime longer, sometimes less. Use 3 cups of water for each cup of uncooked beans. You can season the beans by adding bay leaves, herb sprigs, or garlic cloves to the cooking water. The myth that adding salt to beans while they cook will toughen their skins is completely false, so feel free to salt while cooking to boost the beans’ flavor.
One thing I always add to chili is beans. I know that’s anathema in some parts of the country (I’m looking at you, Texas), but I like the texture and…