This will be more of a general method than a recipe. Instant Pot (hereinafter called IP) is a brand of electric pressure cooker and, from what I can tell, any other brand can be substituted and this method, possibly with slight modification, will work. IP just happens to be the brand that I have and am familiar with. Other varieties of dry beans may also be substituted for pinto. The electric pressure cooker reduces cooking time by at least 80% (five hours to one hour). The other advantage is that flavors appear to blend better with pressure cooking.
For those who have never cooked dry beans before, sort the beans before cooking. I've found lumps of dirt and even rocks and you don't want to eat that.
The Pre-Soaking Stage: Cover the beans with tap water and rinse them well, then pour them into a strainer or colander to drain. I have a 6 quart cooker and use two to four cups of uncooked beans. Put the beans in the IP and fill two thirds of the way with clean water. Make sure vent is in the closed position and press the button that says "Manual" and display will read "30". Now press the "-" (minus) button until that "30" counts down to "0" (zero). All we want to do is bring the IP up to pressure and then release it. The IP will beep briefly to let you know it is starting a program.
After a few minutes (approx. 10) the IP will beep stridently to notify you that the program is finished. The button marked: "Keep Warm/Cancel" will also light up. Push "Keep Warm/Cancel" to cancel the automatic keep warm function. Now carefully open the vent on the lid to let pressure bleed off. A word to the wise, don't let the steam hit your bare skin. The steam will go straight up so keep your hand to the side. Watch the jet of steam closely for the first few seconds. If the beans/water foamed up (this is normal), the vent may spurt some liquid at first. To prevent a mess if this happens just close the vent and give it a few minutes to "simmer down" and then try venting again. If you are not in a hurry, the IP can be allowed to "Natural Release" which simply means allowing time for the pressure to drop on its own. Once pressure is equalized, there is a button seal that will drop and lid will remove easily.
Now carefully (use hot pads or oven mitts - very hot!) remove the stainless steel liner and pour through colander discarding liquid. Or, you may want to add the liquid to compost. Return beans to IP liner and put liner back into IP. Again fill the liner two thirds of the way with clean water or broth of your choice (beef, chicken, vegetable, etc.). The pre-soak process is now complete. This traditionally takes hours! We just completed it in a few minutes.
The Cooking Stage: We can now add all sorts of seasonings and flavorings. If you have a bone from a ham, that would be nice. I add onion, garlic, salt (or not, be aware that the broth, if used, often has salt in it!), black pepper, etc. I don't recommend adding tomato products like Rotel until after beans are cooked. Now replace lid , make sure vent is closed and press "Manual" button and walk away! The 30 minute default manual cooking time is fine. The IP will beep briefly to let you know it is starting a program. When it is finished it will beep stridently to make sure you know and then switch automatically to "Keep Warm" mode. At this point I recommend giving it time (around 15 to 20 minutes) to do the "Natural Release". You can do "Quick Release", if you are in a hurry, but there will almost always be foam/liquid from vent and the beans may need this extra bit of cooking time anyway so just "chill out", okay? Once the pressure button seal drops, open the IP and add your tomato products, if desired, and enjoy!
These beans may be enjoyed as is, as main course
or side dish
, or used in chili, soup, or mashed and refried. The choices
are many, so use your imagination
and your electric pressure cooker!