Beans are a protein-rich superfood high in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. These legumes were a staple ingredient utilized by indigenous peoples before and after the Spanish colonization of Mexico, and continue to be a mainstay on tables today. Their staying power is a testament to their importance in the human diet. While traditional Mexican beans are made in clay pots, or ollas, this recipe can easily be replicated in a heavy stainless steel stock pot or even cooked overnight in a slow cooker.
Recipe by Teresa Acosta (my aunt)
- Clean and soak beans 4 to 6 hours (overnight soaking is optimal) prior to cooking. At minimum, they should be soaked at least 3 hours. Drain, rinse, and disregard water used for soaking.
- Add beans to a large pot with onion and oil or lard. Add enough water to cover beans completely with at least 4 inches or more of water. Bring to a boil over high flame, stir, then lower to lowest setting and cook for approximately 3 hours or until beans are tender. Check every 30 minutes to make sure water has not evaporated, adding more if necessary. You should not have to add any though, if the beans are cooked slowly.
- 30 minutes before beans are ready, add salt, serrano chile, and epazote.
- When ready, remove onion, chile, and epazote.
- Pour into bowls and serve hot with bean broth.
Note: If using a slow cooker for this recipe, allow to cook for 8 to 10 hours on lowest setting.