Here we are at the end of another week and the end of spring break. It was great while it lasted!
If you go into any typical Mexican household chances are there will be a big pot of beans either on the stove or in the crock pot. Beans are a staple in our diets and they are such a comfort food. They can be served right out of the pot or refried. They could be a main dish or a side dish. They can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. There are so many different meals that you can make with pinto beans.
My mother has always used pinto beans until recently when she started using Frijoles Peruanos (Peruvian Beans). She bought me some so I could try them. They were good but certainly not pinto beans! Julissa didn’t even want to try them. She said she wants her same old pinto beans so that is what we will continue using.
Today I am sharing the basic recipe for making Frijoles de la Olla or Beans from the Pot made in a crock pot. Many years ago before crock pots became really popular I used to make my beans either in a big pot or a clay pot on the stove. I had to constantly watch them so that they wouldn’t burn or overflow. Now I used my crock pot and make them overnight so that they are ready in the morning.
It’s amazing how something so simple could be made into something so good.
Before cooking your beans it is so important to go through or pick through your beans and wash them well. You need to remove any rocks or rotten beans. After I pick through my beans I add water to them and basically massage them until the water runs pretty clear. It might take about 2 or three “wash and massages”. I cannot emphasize this enough!
These beans are so simple to make!
After they are cooked and served in a nice big bowl along with the bean broth you can garnish them with any topping you like such as tomatoes, onions, jalapeño peppers or Pico de Gallo (that’s how I like them). You could also garnish them with shredded cheese (chihuahua, queso fresco or any cheese you like), salsa, mexican crema or whatever you want. These are just and example of the most typical topping that I would use. One more thing…you must, must , must serve these beans in their broth with tortillas.
I think these beans are beautiful. Some people consider this meal poor people or peasant food. And I don’t care…I love them and so does my family! This is what my parents pretty much grew up on and so did I and I am very proud of that!
Frijoles de la Olla-In the Crockpot (this makes a lot of beans!)
- 4 /12 cups dried pinto beans (2 lbs.)
- 10 cups water
- 1 onion, cut into quarters or eigth’s
- 6 garlic cloves (end cut and skin removed)
- salt to taste
Pick through the beans to remove any rocks or nasty looking beans. Rinse with water until water runs pretty clean. Place the beans in the crockpot. Add the water, onion and garlic. Cook overnight on low for about 8 hours. The cooking time will vary with crockpots. You want the beans to be cooked but soft, but not too soft that they start to break up. If needed add more water. You want these beans to have enough broth. Add about 1-2 tablespoons of salt (or to your liking) the last half hour of cooking.
Serve with garnishes and tortillas.
These homemade beans are so versatile. I will be sharing more recipes in the future using these Frijoles de la Olla. These totally beat the taste of canned pinto beans. But I will admit that I have used canned beans when I am in a hurry!