Intro: Frijoles De La Olla
The pinto bean. It's speckled with dark brown spots. It's small and eaten raw is disgusting. This powerful legume is packed with nutrients and has been a Mexican staple forever. I remember going to the grocery store with my Momma and running straight to the bean bin. It's pretty much a huge barrel filled with thousands of beans. Hanging on the side is an attached shovel and produce bags. I would take the shovel and scoop beans and pour them back into the barrel. I like the tapping sounds it made...kind of like rain.
Beans are such an easy thing to make it's silly. It takes a little time but the end result is delicious.
Step 1: Ingredients
- 4 cups of beans
- two handfuls of salt
- crock pot
- about 3 - 4 hours of your time
Step 2: Clean Them Beans!
Anytime you buy beans whether they are from a barrel or bagged, you must clean them. There are many little surprises when you buy them such as rocks and split rotted beans. This task could be tedious for a first timer but after you've been doing it for more than 20 years...it's a breeze.
Grab a collander. Grab some beans and pour some from one hand to the other. Inspect them. Any rocks? Any split rotted types? If you find some, discard. It's not yummy.
Once you have four cups of beans in your collander, rinse the beans under cold water. Give it a minute or two and let the water drain. Give the collander a good shake to get rid of the excess water.
Step 3: Drown Them Good, Wait Until They're Done.
Add the beans to your crock pot. Fill it to the top with water. Add two handfuls of salt. Cover with the lid and turn the crock pot up to high.
Next is the waiting game....for 3 to 4 hours.......watch a movie....run some errands....do whatever....
I'd probably make some salsa and throw it in the fridge...but that's just me.
Step 4: Calientitos, Sabrosisimo!
I don't know how to describe how it smells. It's a tad salty...it fills the air with hominess. The beans should lose their spots and are soft. Hard beans are not acceptable for consumption. Taste the broth. CAUTION: It will be HOT! Add salt if needed.
Serve the beans with the juice in a small bowl. It's good with flour or corn tortillas and a bit of cheese.
Step 5: IMPORTANT: Storing
Let your beans come to room temperature before storing, otherwise they will spoil. :(
You can transfer them to a big bowl and cover with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge. OR, you can portion them out into servings in airtight containers. The beans will last for about a week. If you pop them in a freezer...they can last a month.
Reusing: We always make these beans again as refried beans. Add a little bit of oil to a pan, let it heat up and add your beans. If you think they are dry, add a bit of milk for creaminess. Smash until smooth, top with cheese.