Thursday, April 3, 2014

How to Make Authentic Mexican Beans from Scratch

Last week, I showed you How to Sort and Clean Dry Beans in preparation for making beans at home from scratch.  Today, I will show you how to cook authentic Mexican beans from scratch!  It's so simple and the beans are so healthy and delicious!  You will never want to eat canned beans again! You will need:
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  • Sorted and cleaned beans (I am using Pinto beans here)
  • A large pot with a lid
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Jalapeño, Anaheim, or bell pepper
Start with your sorted and cleaned beans. 

After thoroughly rinsing them,  put them into your large pot and fill with water.  The beans will expand to about 1.5 times their size while dry so make sure your pot has enough room for expansion and water.  Add water to the beans ensuring that they are completely covered in water.  The water should go over the top of the beans by about 2 inches.

Next, get some fresh garlic and peel 4-6 cloves. 

Toss the peeled whole garlic and a whole jalapeño into the pot and turn the flame (or heat if using electric) on "high" and wait for the water to come to a rapid boil.  The jalapeño should not make your beans spicy, but will just add in great flavor.  If you are afraid to use jalapeño, or do not have any available, you can you an Anaheim pepper or even slice half of a bell pepper and put that instead.

Once the water has come to a rapid boil, mix the beans, lower the flame to "low", and then cover the pot with a lid.

Check on the beans every thirty minutes stirring them and ensuring they are still covered in water.  If they need water, add in HOT water (or the beans will turn dark).  Adjust the flame as needed to keep the beans at a light simmer.  The beans should take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half.  The beans will be soft and will look like this when they are done. 

Add salt to taste and you now have frijoles de la olla!  

Beans freeze for later!  

Place cooled beans in a Ziplock freezer bag.  Lay it flat while freezing.  Do defrost, place the frozen bag into hot water until the beans have loosened from the bag (they will probably still be frozen into a bag shape).  Next, pour your "brick" of beans into into a large lidded pot and keep on a low heat until completely warmed.

Need meal ideas for your fresh beans?  Here are some great ideas:

  • Add Centro, minced onion, cream (or plain yogurt), lime, and cheese for a delicious bean soup
  • Make bean and cheese burritos
  • Make a Mexican pita melt
  • Use as a side to complement any meal
  • Make Mexican nachos
  • Make a bean-dip
  • Lighty fry and mash them for re-fried beans
The possibilities are endless!

Be sure to check out my slow cooker hack!

Note: Some people like to soak their clean beans in water over night to reduce the cooking time.  For most beans, I find this step unnecessary, but should you choose to do this in the future, make sure you cook the beans in the water that they soaked in.   This is great, however, when making beans in a slow cooker.

Here are some other posts you may like:
Delicious but Simple Five Ingredient Garlic Mashed Potatoes from Scratch
Fluffy Dairy-Free Whole Wheat Pancake Recipe
Simple Mexican Pita Melt

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