- 1 cup (dry) Pinto Beans
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 0.3 cup, finely chopped Onion
- 2 large, finely minced Garlic Cloves
- 4 cups Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 Lemon
- 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme
Mixed Mashed Potatoes
- 2 medium Russet Potatoes
- 2 medium Sweet Potatoes
- 3 Tablespoons Vegan Mayonnaise
- 3 Tablespoons Vegan Butter
- 0.5 teaspoon Sea Salt
Lemon and thyme infused braised beans served along with my favorite mixed mashed potatoes!
This dish hits the comfort food spot every time.
As someone who recently (and finally) switched from canned beans to dry beans, I cannot praise braised beans more.
I think it’s safe to say that most of us think it’s daunting to cook dry beans.
Turns out that when dry beans are soaked overnight, it only takes about 1 hour to cook them in liquid!
Believe me when I say, it’s worth it every time!
I don’t discriminate and love all of the bean varieties. However, pinto beans also known as the “speckled bean” are my favorites visually.
Beans adapt to flavors so well which is why I like to infuse them with citrus and herbs while they are braising in the liquid.
Let’s get back to basics and talk about braising.
Braising is a combination-cooking method that uses both dry and wet heats.
The food is first sautéed or seared, then finished in a covered pot at a lower temperature while simmering in liquid.
I start by sautéing the aromatics in the pot, then add the beans and broth.
The beans cook in the broth at a gentle boil until they are packed with flavor and have a buttery bite!
Beans and other types of legumes are a great source of vegetarian protein, which is why I cook with them often.
Primarily comprised of carbs, fiber, and protein, beans also pack an incredible punch of vitamins and minerals.
Pinto beans in particular, can help reduce blood cholesterol, are good for gut health, and can also reduce the rise in blood sugar that happens after eating a meal.
When I think of a comfort food meal it either has pasta or potato.
The best pairing with these braised beans are mashed potatoes.
Not just classic, white mashed potatoes but mixed mashed potatoes.
These mashed potatoes are equal parts russet and sweet potato for that perfectly fluffy, buttery and sweet bite!
The mashed potatoes only contain 5 ingredients and it comes together while the beans are cooking.
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Soak The Dry Pinto Beans
When using dry beans, you always want to soak them before cooking.
Add the dry beans to a large bowl then cover with filtered water.
As the beans soak, they will expand. Therefore, use a large bowl and a good amount of water for soaking.
Cover the bowl then allow to soak for 10-12 hours at room temperature.
If you are not ready to cook them after 12 hours, drain the beans and add fresh water.
Soak the beans for up to 24 hours.
Braise The Beans
Heat a large pot then add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.
Add the finely chopped onion and sauté over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
Next, add the finely minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
Add the soaked and drained beans to the pot and stir to combine.
Now add the vegetable broth. If 4 cups does not fully cover the beans, add more. As the beans cook the broth will be absorbed and evaporate, so it's best to add more rather than less.
Cover the pot, increase the heat to high and allow it to come up to a gentle boil. Once at a gently boil, lower the heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, add 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme and the lemon peel.
Cover the pot and cook for another 20-30 minutes or until the beans are fully cooked.
Last step is to season the beans with sea salt.
Make The Mixed Mashed Potatoes
While the beans are cooking, make the mashed potatoe.
Peel and chop the russet and sweet potato into large chunks. Be sure to cut them into similar size so they cook at the same rate.
Add the potato chunks to a pot then cover with water.
Cover the pot and bring it up to a boil. Once at a boil, remove the lid and cook until the potatoes are very very fork tender.
Turn off the heat then drain the potatoes but keep about 1/2 cup of the liquid.
Mash the potatoes using a fork or potato masher then add 3 Tablespoons of vegan mayo, 3 Tablespoons of vegan butter and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.
Mix to combine well then give the potatoes a taste. Adjust seasoning if needed.
Serve & Eat