4 c. pinto beans
4 slices bacon (can also use salt pork, ham hock, or diced ham--I've only tried bacon)
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
Rinse beans in cool water; pour into a pot and cover with water by 2-3 inches. Slice bacon into 1" thick pieces and mix in with beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer 2 hours, or until beans are tender. Add water to pot as needed. Beans should have a thick broth. Toward the end of cooking time, ad salt and pepper and season to taste. (It was pretty hot with the pepper, but I loved it that way. I suggest adding some to taste, rather than just putting in the whole 2 tsp. pepper...you know, just in case it's too much for your tastes). For variety you can add chili powder, garlic, or Tabasco. Serve with grated cheese, chopped onions, chopped fresh jalapenos, sour cream, and/or cilantro. (I just had sour cream, and that was fine!).
*I like to mash the beans a little with a potato masher before we eat it. Kind of adds more variety in the texture and a little thicker broth.