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1 smoked ham hock
1 (1-pound) package dried pinto beans, rinsed
1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped or sliced
10 cups water
1 ½ teaspoons salt
6 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
2 tablespoons minced cilantro

Put the ham hock, beans, onion and garlic in a slow cooker. Add the water and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or overnight. Remove and discard the ham hock.

Add the salt, bacon, tomatoes, green chiles and cilantro and cook on low another 15 minutes. Beans can be refrigerated at this point and reheated close to serving time. The beans thicken when cooled, and the flavor will improve when the beans are cooked overnight and reheated the next day.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Note: For spicier beans, add 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped.


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