Inspect the beans to remove any small rocks or debris. Rinse well.
Place the beans, 8 cups of water, ham hock, bouillion cubes, and chopped onion in a large pot with a lid. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add salt to taste. I usually add about 1 teaspoon, but the exact amount of salt needed will vary based on the sodium level in the brand of bouillon and your taste.
Cook over medium low for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until tender to your liking. Remove the ham hock, shred the meat, and return it to the pot, if desired.
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Can't find ham hocks? Smoked turkey necks, smoked turkey wings, 3 slices of bacon, 3 tablespoons of bacon grease, a ham bone, or even some ham base or ham flavored concentrate will work.
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Find this recipe at https://southernbite.com/southern-pinto-beans/