Frijoles de la Olla
(Mexican beans in broth)
4 to 6 servings
- Lard, salt pork or oil -- 2 tablespoons
- Onion, chopped -- 1
- Dried beans, any variety, rinsed and soaked overnight -- 2 cups
- Salt -- 1 to 2 teaspoons
- Heat the lard, salt pork or oil in a large saucepan over medium flame (the salt pork until it renders its fat). Add the onions and sauté until just translucent.
- Stir in the soaked beans and enough water to cover beans by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, or until the beans are cooked through and tender. Add water as needed to keep the beans covered.
- Near the end of the cooking time, stir in salt to taste.
- Feijão Preto (Brazil); Caraotas Negras (Venezuela): use black beans.
- Frijoles Borrachos (Drunken beans): Use pinto beans and substitute one bottle of beer for some of the water. Crumbled bacon is also sometimes added. Popular in northern Mexico.
- Different beans are popular in different regions of Mexico. Pintos are most common, but in the Yucatán, black beans are favored.
- When using black beans, Mexican cooks often add epazote, a pungent herb, to the pot. Epazote can be found both fresh and dried in the Latin markets. Use a sprig of fresh or a big pinch of dried.
- Crumble some Mexican cheese over the top before serving if you like.
- Throw a clove or two of garlic into the simmering beans for added flavor.
- Add a whole fresh or a chopped pickled jalapeño to give a kick to your beans.