Sunday, September 19, 2010

The McNair's Pinto Beans

When we were growing up, Mama and Daddy were close friends with Gene and Sherry McNair, who also had a large family. The McNairs wrote a Mexican cookbook called, "An Adventure from South of the Border." Too bad it's out of print. I've made several changes but I'll still give them the credit for this recipe.

1 lb. dried pinto beans
1 large onion, chopped
2 small serrano peppers, chopped fine
1 1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. sugar
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
a whole bunch of cilantro, washed and chopped
3-4 T. olive oil (original recipe called for 1/4 lb salt pork)
2 t. cumin

Wash beans well and place in a large heavy pot with 3 1/2 quarts cold water. Bring to a boil and skim off any skum. Add the salt and olive oil (or salt pork if you must). Simmer, covered, for 2 1/2 hours. Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer for an additional 45 minutes. Water may be added before the cooking time is up if soupy beans are desired. Serves at least 8 people.

There is a note in the cookbook that says they use this recipe to cook black beans as well.
Bon Appetit!


  1. This is a great recipe especially for those cold days in Buffalo. It's so easy to make. I made this last night along with the cornbread recipe. It tastes even better the next day as leftovers. I made mine a little spicier than the recipe called for, but we really enjoyed this. I'll be making this often.

  2. Hi Sue, I also got to try this recipe! (This is Phil's friend Neesha again.) Phil shared a serving of these beans with me for lunch today, and they were the best pinto beans I've ever had! I'm going to try making them myself soon. Thanks again for the great recipe and for the great son.

  3. How sweet! Thank you, Neesha. I loved your comments!