Pinto Beans and Rice

Pinto beans and rice
1 pound of dry pinto beans, soaked overnight, picked through and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups of chopped, cooked ham, 1/2 pound package of smoked sausage or andouille sausage, or 1/2 pound of bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup of chopped celery
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
1 tablespoon chicken base
About 10 turns of the pepper mill
1 teaspoon of kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon of Creole or Cajun seasoning
Hot, cooked rice
Soak beans overnight,
If you are using bacon, or a combination with other meats, leave the oil out and saute the bacon first before the other meats. Use the rendered fat to saute the vegetables. heat the oil in a stockpot and add the ham or sausage, cooking until browned. Add the chopped onion and celery and cook and stir until onion is softened and slightly caramelized. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute. Stir in the beans, chicken stock, and pepper; add enough water to cover, plus about 2 inches and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring regularly. Add additional water 1/2 cup at a time only if the beans thicken too much. Add salt and Cajun seasoning, taste and add as needed. Remove a cup of thebeans and use a blender to puree, or mash them with a fork, returning them to the pot; stir. this will thicken your liquid.