Frijoles de Olla (Pot of Beans)

2 cups dried pinto beans
1 cup chicken stock
Water to cover the beans
1/2 head of garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. chili flakes
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 of an onion, coarsely chopped
1 jalapenos, minced
1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

Pick through the beans and rinse them carefully, looking for any gravel or grit. Rinse a second time. Generously cover with water and allow soaking overnight.
Sometime the next day, rinse the beans then place beans in a stock pot. Add chicken stock and enough water to cover the beans. Add the remaining ingredients except for the salt. Bring the beans just to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer the beans, uncovered. Plan on a total cooking time of about 2 1/2 hours.

After 1 hour, stir the beans up from the bottom of the pot and check the water level. If there is not at least 1 inch more water than beans, add enough HOT water to bring it up to that level. Check the beans after another 30 minutes, repeating the process. Add the salt after the beans are well-softened and continue simmering. Check every 20-30 minutes, keeping the level of the water just above the beans. There should be extra liquid at the end of cooking, but the beans should not be watery.

If you wish, remove 1/2 to 1 cup of beans, mash them or blend in a food processor, and return to the pot for a thicker liquid.

Serve warm. The beans keep for several days in the fridge and are even better reheated. Freezes well.

Refried Beans

1/4 cup oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups Frijoles de Olla or other cooked pinto beans, drained
1 cup liquid from beans or 1/2 cup cream

Heat oil in a heavy skillet. Stir in onion and garlic. Sauté until softened. Add drained beans and mash with a potato masher. Add the cream and liquid, while mashing, 1 tablespoon at a time until a smooth consistency is reached (you may not use all of the liquid). Continue to cook until beans become a thick paste. Stir often to prevent sticking.

Beans are a staple in our home and I’ve used dozens of different recipes. This one is by far my favorite. It has great flavor and the final product is very versatile. I triple the batch and freeze in 2 cup proportions for quick nachos, burritos, or bean dip. Thanks to Michelle for this great recipe.


emily said...

We go through canned beans faster than anyone I know, so this seems like a perfect solution for me!

I can't wait to try! Thanks for sharing.

Adrienne said...

I'm wondering if you can do this recipe in a crock pot? Have you ever tried it this way??

Emily said...

I personally don't use a crock pot very often, but I would think if your crock pot gets hot enough then it would work just fine.