Prep: 30 minutes, Cook: 8-9 hours
About 3 c cleaned pinto beans
1 lb ground beef or sausage
1 can diced tomatoes*
1 tbls fresh minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1 c chopped green onions (green parts add color)
4 tbls red chili powder
Enough water to cover beans by about 2 inches in slow cooker
4 tbls flour (optional)
In the slow cooker on high, add cleaned beans with water, salt, pepper, chili powder, minced garlic, garlic salt, tomatoes** & chopped onions (all but the flour). Break up the raw ground beef into pieces & drop into the slow cooker. Leave for about eight hours. Maybe check on it half way through to see if the water is still covering the beans & possibly stir once to make sure beans do not stick to the side of the slow cooker (it depends on the kitchen temperature & how close the slow cooker is to other objects).
Optional for a thicker juice: Eight hours later (or when beans are tender all the way through), in a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 c of bean juice from slow cooker with flour. Remove remaining juice from slow cooker to where juice just covers the beans. Add juice/flour mixture back to the slow cooker. Set on low for 30 more minutes to thicken.
Serve in a bowl, sprinkled with shredded cheese & garlic bread on the side.
*Fresh diced tomatoes may be substituted for canned.
**If you like big chunks of tomatoes, add them later with the flour.