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Soupy Pot Beans - Frijoles De La Olla

Type: Meat, Vegetables
Courses: Soup
Serves: 10 people

Recipe Ingredients

1 lb 454g / 16ozDried beans - pinto, pink, or black (about 3 scant cups)
1   White onions - 1/2 in a chunk
  And the rest finely chopped
1 tablespoon 15mlSafflower oil*
1 1/2 teaspoons 7.5mlSalt - about
2 sections  Epazote if cooking black beans - optional
  Boiling water - at the ready
3   Garlic cloves - minced
  For Garnish
1/2 cup 73g / 2.6ozCrumbled queso fresco - farmer's cheese
  OR feta

Recipe Instructions

Wash the beans thoroughly, removing any small rocks or other foreign materials. Put them in a large, heavy pot (an earthenware olla, if possible) and cover with 2 quarts of cold water, which should allow "2 knuckles' worth" of water above the level of the beans.

Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Add the half piece of onion and a tiny dribble of oil, and continue simmering until the beans just begin to become tender, usually in 1 hour. Add salt to taste, and if cooking black beans, put in the epazote.

Cook 30-45 more minutes. The total time will depend on how fresh the beans are. The beans should be stirred from time to time, and add boiling water whenever it is less than "one knuckles' worth" over the beans. They should be rather soupy.

Warm the remainder of the oil over medium heat in a skillet and saute the garlic and chopped onion until nicely brown but not burned. Add the onion and garlic to the beans and continue cooking until the beans are very soft and plump.

These can be eaten immediately, along with the broth, or cooled completely and then covered and stored in the refrigerator. The earthy flavor seems to intensify when reheated the next day, and the beans will keep, covered and refrigerated, for at least 4 days.

Serve the broth and beans in bowls. Garnish with the crumbled cheese.

VARIATION: QUICK PRESSURE-COOKED BEANS : Put 2 cups of beans, half of the onion, cut in chunks, and a few drops of oil in a 4-quart pressure cooker with 4 cups of water. Seal and cook for 30 minutes. After the pressure is released, remove the lid, add 1/2-1 cup more water, the sauteed garlic, onion, salt, and optional epazote. Continue cooking until tender, another 15 to 20 minutes.

Cocina de la Familia by Marilyn Tausend with Miguel Ravago (1997: Simon and Schuster).


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