1 onion, peeled and halved
3 c. dried pinto beans
1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 T. minced garlic
5 t. salt
1 3/4 t. pepper
1/8 t. cumin
9 c. water
Combine all ingredients in crockpot; stir. Cook on high for 8 hours (read notes). Strain, reserving liquid. Remove onion halves. Mash beans, adding reserved liquid to desired consistency.
Notes: These beans freeze well. I used to double the recipe (make sure your crockpot is big enough) and fill four quart-sized bags for the freezer, but we polish off a double batch faster as our family has grown and rarely freeze the beans now. My crockpot has a double batch ready in 5 hours on high, so check yours to make sure your beans aren't falling apart at 8 hours. If you'd rather have it take longer, then cook it on low. Depending on the temperature of the water you put in the crockpot, the beans will be done in 8-10 hours on low.
Use this recipe as a starting point and tweak to your liking. Beans - all pinto, all black, or half pinto and half black. Jalapenos - none, one, half diced & half intact, all diced. Water - all water, half water & half broth, all broth (use less salt if you add broth). Onion - halved, diced, one intact half and the other half diced. Cumin - as directed or way more. I don't measure the water either. Instead I just make sure the beans are submerged in liquid, filling the crockpot to the top and cooking it on low.
My favorite method, which is always a double batch, is one diced onion, 3 c. pinto beans, 3 c. black beans, no jalapenos, 1/4 cup garlic, 3 heaping T. salt (actually, I've dropped it down to a lot less over the years), 1 heaping T. pepper, 2 t. cumin, and enough water to fill the crockpot. I cook them for eight hours on low and leave the beans unmashed when they're done cooking. If you plan on freezing the beans, then don't mash them until they've thawed. It's much easier to pour intact beans out of a freezer bag than to squeeze out mashed ones. In addition to using them each week for Taco Tuesday, I also use these beans in any recipe that calls for canned black or pinto beans.
I also make other beans in the crockpot.
Linked up at: Eat at Home Ingredient Spotlight - beans