Pinto Beans

Beans from the pot (Frijoles de Olla)

Basic Pinto beans from the pot (Frijoles de la Olla) work as a side and are a basis for chili or refried beans. Traditionally frijoles are cooked in an earthenware pot which imparts a unique Pueblo-style flavor. Cooking beans only requires you to peek in occasionally to ensure there is still enough liquid. You may also use Black beans, traditional in the South of Mexico, or Peruvian beans, which are common in Central Mexico. Pinto beans are more customary in the North. You can refrigerate them for about 4 to 5 days. Freeze them to last up to three months. Recipe from Patty Jinich.
1 pound (or about 2.25 cups) Pinto, Peruvian (mayocoba), or Black beans
1 small white onion (about 1/2 pound) outer skin peeled off, leave whole
10 cups water, add more if necessary (5-6 cups water per cup of beans)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 small bunch cilantro stems or 2-3 epazote leaves
1 Rinse the beans in cold water and drain. Place them in a big heavy pot and cover with water to come up to 3 inches above the top of the beans. Add whole onion and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, then let the beans simmer, partially covered, until they are soft, about 1 1/2 hours.

2 Add salt and optional herbs.

3 Let beans continue simmering for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the beans are so soft they come apart if you hold one between your fingers and the broth has thickened to a soupy consistency. Add more water if the beans are not yet soft and the broth is drying out.

4 Remove the boiled onion and herbs with a slotted spoon before eating.

servings  use metric
original recipe yield: 8 Servings
Notes You can soak beans the night before cooking. This helps reduce the cooking time, but is not necessary. If you do soak them, don't soak them more than 12 hours or they ferment. Using a pressure cooker cuts the time almost in half. Avoid adding salt in the beginning; many believe it will toughen the beans.

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