I was born and raised in Texas. I remember when I was growing up my mother preparing the best meals. My favorite meal was pinto beans, fried potatoes and cornbread. I remember the smell of pinto beans boiling on the wood burning stove for hours. What a great memory!
Pour pinto beans out on the table and pick the rocks out of them if there are any. Wash really good and set aside. Put oil in a heavy dutch oven and heat. Add chopped onion and jalapeno, stir a couple minutes then add the ham hocks and let cook just a few minutes to get the flavor going. Now add the beans and water. You may have to add more water, but only boiling water so that it doesn’t stop the boiling. You may add the salt and pepper at this time, some say it makes the beans hard. I do it both ways and can’t see that it makes a difference. Let simmer about 3 to 4 hours or until beans are soft. At this point I take a potato masher and mash about 2 or 3 times. This breaks it up and helps it thicken to almost the consistency of split pea soup.
Serve over a hot bowl of cornbread and enjoy. Add more jalapenos if you’re brave.
NOTE: This can also be cooked in a slow cooker. Just put them on before going to bed and they will be done but you may want to put them in a pot on the stove to thicken.