Well, it has been a nice and quiet day today. I find that I still want to have something on the stove and I continue to cook something during the weekend. Today, I decided that I wanted to make a fresh batch of pinto beans. Abuelita used to cook beans every Sunday. She did that so there were enough beans for the week. She would cook them and take a good amount to be ready to use when it came to lunch or dinner. She tended to use the same batch to cook some refried beans (just by mashing up the beans that she originally cooked).
Like most things I cook, I have a tendency of making a large batch. I guess it comes from how my grandmother used to cook. I seldom make fresh pinto beans as I like to have variety. Besides, when making a large amount, I am able to freeze them. Again, like most things that I cook, beans will keep well as long as you have it in a tightly sealed container.
4 cups dry beans
8 cups water, for soaking
8 cups water, cooking
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp bacon fat
Start by soaking the beans. I learned from my grandmother that if you soak the beans the night before, the better they taste and the cook time is a lot less. Add the beans and water into a large pot. Have them soak overnight. My grandmother used to say that if you cleaned out the beans in this way, it prevented too much gas from the beans.I don't know if that is necessarily true, but why mess with tradition?
The following day, rinse out the beans. Notice that they have puffed up. Once you have rinsed the beans, place them back in the pot. Add the other cups of water and the salt.
While its starting to boil, notice that the water will start to foam. Sometimes, its because the beans still needs to be cleaned out. I tend to clean the foam out because it doesn't taste too well with it.
When the beans are continuing to boil, add the spices and the bacon fat. Notice that the broth is light brown. Continue to cook on high, checking on occasion that the beans are getting softer for about 45 minutes. Bring the heat down to simmer. Then turn them off. If I am cooking some Mexican food, I will serve it hot maybe some rice and enchiladas. I store the leftover beans in separate containers for later use. If I were to have charro beans, I would add onions, tomatoes, jalapeños.