Irma's Pinto Beans and Smoked Ham Shanks

Total Time
Prep 10 hrs
Cook 10 hrs

In the early sixty's I lived in Yuma Arizona. I was "adopted" by my friend Rick Ramirez's Family. His Mom, Irma, pronounced 'ear-mah' was world champion at making simple ingredients taste Heavenly. This is one of her's.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Sort and wash Beans.
  2. cover with water (they will double in bulk.) Cover the pot and let soak overnight in frig.
  3. In the morning bring the Stock to a boil on the stovetop.
  4. Drain and rinse the Beans.
  5. Meanwhile, Char the Jalapenos to remove the skins.
  6. Pierce the stim end with a bamboo skewer to use as a handle.
  7. Hold over a gas flame or use a propane tourch.
  8. Remove the stem, quarter, remove the seeds and vains.
  9. Finely mince.
  10. Saute all of the vegetables'til tender.
  11. Place all ingredients in crock pot and top off with boiling Stock.
  12. Stir.
  13. Cover, cook on low 8-10 hours.
  14. Remove Ham Shanks, trim skin and fat, debone and cut meat into bite-sized pieces. Return to pot and mix well.
  15. Serve on a bed of cooked rice, topped with Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream and fresh chopped Cilantro.


Most Helpful

Very tasty dish that had a wonderful aroma when cooking and a great flavor when plated. For the weak of heart, back up on the jalapenos and start with one only. My wife cannot take the heat. Add some however - it really adds to the flavor & the black bits of the pepper skin look great on the top of the broth. I used a ham bone from Thanksgiving & saw no need to use vegetable stock - and water worked just fine. Shred some fresh cilanthro on top of the bowls when plating for a nice vibrant green color & a complimentary flavor to the oregano, cumin, & thyme. Enjoy!

Chef 565650 Jim November 27, 2008

very yummy! i used 2 of the largest ham hocks i could find (meatier) and added 1/2 lb cooked ham during the last 2 hours. i also left the seeds in the jalapenos and it was zesty.

clay russell March 01, 2008

It was wonderful. I didn't use my crock. Just on the stove. I didn't change a thing. Rosamaria

ROSAMARIA November 29, 2004

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a