Frijoles de la Olla

Don't add the salt yet! After much experimentation, I came up with this recipe for pinto beans. I found that soaking does not reduce the cooking time significantly. The most important thing is to make sure the beans are rinsed thoroughly.

Another item of importance is the salt. Do not add the salt until the beans have been cooked until they are tender. That's about 2 hours. Adding salt earlier will cause them not to soften as well. Add the chilies at the same time as the salt.

What You Need

1 pound dried pinto beans
10 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
2 1/2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste
2 to 3 serrano chiles, finely chopped (substitute jalapeños if you wish)

Here's How

Spread the beans on a flat surface and pick out small stones or broken beans. Place the beans in a colander and rinse well with warm water. Discard any beans that float.

Place the beans in a large pot or Dutch oven with the olive oil or vegetable oil, diced onion, and garlic. Add 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 2 hours. Make sure there is always enough water to cover the beans. Add more hot water if needed.

When the beans are tender, add salt and serrano chiles. Cook the beans for 30 or 40 more before serving. You can keep leftovers in the fridge for up to a week.

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