I never knew that plain, regular old pinto beans could be so...delicious! I was reading The Pioneer Woman's website, and I came upon her recipe for baked beans. I modified it just slightly, but not too much - the Pioneer Woman is a recipe goddess. I turn to her for tips on everything from cutting an onion to roasting garlic. She's amazing, and she posts pictures of each step of the cooking process.
Anyway, the beans.
1. Measure 4 cups dry pinto beans; rinse in a colander.
2. Pour beans into a dutch oven and cover with water; water should be about two inches above the beans.
3. Cut up five slices of bacon (or one slice per cup beans, plus one extra slice for good measure) into small pieces; not too small, just strips about a half to one inch wide. Put in the dutch oven.
4. Bring beans to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring, for about two hours.
5. Add 1 tsp salt and 2 tsp pepper to the beans. If you want, you can add more - onion, garlic, chili powder, etc. I like to add a little chili powder, but otherwise, just salt and pepper.
6. Simmer just a little longer, then turn off the heat and let them sit for a few minutes so the flavors really mingle.
7. Serve with cornbread. It is the easiest, most delicious, simplest meal I've ever made.
And damn were those beans good.
(Sorry, but they really did warrant the cursing.)