Kitchn Love Letters

I Can’t Get Enough of Hungry Hutch’s Southern Pinto Beans

updated Nov 6, 2019
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I absolutely love recipes that remind me of my Southern upbringing. While I’m from Chicago, both of my parents are from Mississippi, and that Southern love permeated every single meal I had. 

Southern pinto beans were a staple for me when I was growing up. Because they were easy to start, my mama made them several times a month. She would have a big ol’ pot of it brewing on the stovetop with ham hock or turkey wings and spices galore. On crazy weekdays, she would sometimes have a Crock-Pot of it going before we went to school so we could enjoy it in the evening. Our family would eat it with fresh cornbread muffins right out of the oven. 

Pinto beans have a very hearty, tender-yet-firm texture that melts as it continues to simmer away. When I tried Aaron of The Hungry Hutch’s recipe, it brought me back home. There’s a lot of soul in this recipe! I felt like I was young again, eating weeknight dinners with my brother and daddy after finishing homework. Recipes like these feel old-school and new-school at the same time because they are always relevant and never go out of style. 

The flavors come from the beans steeping away in chicken stock. With just a few more aromatic ingredients like onion, bay leaves, and garlic, it gets super delicious. The main ingredient that takes this over the top is ham hock. The meat is tender, savory, and delicious. You can break it apart and serve it with everyone’s meal. 

This is not only a super-easy recipe, but also totally economical and very filling. It is perfect for fall and winter, but we enjoy it all year round. I am grateful to Aaron for giving me back a remnant of my soulful Southern upbringing. I can’t wait to serve it weekly as well.

Get the recipe: Southern Pinto Beans with Ham Hocks from Grandbaby Cakes

Jocelyn Delk Adams is the founder and author of the award winning cookbook and website Grandbaby Cakes, which gives her family’s, particularly her grandmother’s, cherished generational recipes her modern spin while preserving the most important ingredient — tradition. She is also part of the newly launched Kitchn Collective.

At Kitchn, our editors and contributors develop and debut brand-new recipes on the site every single week. But at home, we also have our own tried-and-true dishes that we make over and over again — because quite simply? We love them. Kitchn Love Letters is a series that shares our favorite, over-and-over recipes.