Paula Deen's slow cooker pinto beans recipe is popular on FoodNetwork.com. The refried beans recipe from MarthaStewart.com offers another good way to prepare dried pinto beans.
For the Deen recipe, wash 1 pound of dried pinto beans and soak overnight. Next, drain and place in a slow cooker, adding 1 teaspoon of chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano. Add a soaked ham hock along with the soaking water.
Pour in enough water to cover the ham hock. Add 1 chopped onion to the cooker. Stir well and season to taste using pepper, salt and garlic powder. Cover and cook on high for about five hours or until the beans are very tender.
For the Stewart recipe, start with 1 pound of washed, soaked and dried pinto beans. Place them in a heavy 6-quart pot along with 1/2 chopped onion, 1 halved head of garlic, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1 smoked ham hock. For spicier beans, add two halved jalapeño peppers. Add enough water to cover by 3 inches and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until tender, adding enough water to cover the beans. Take out the onions, garlic, jalapeños and ham hock. Remove liquid until there is about 1/4 inch left in the pot and set aside. Season with 1 tablespoon of coarse salt, 2 teaspoons of paprika and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Coarsely puree beans, using some of the reserved liquid if needed.