kitchen basics: making beans in a slow-cooker
I have no idea why, but until last week I had NEVER cooked up a batch of beans. Ridiculous, no? I mean, it’s really easy, and I have a slow-cooker (albeit one from the 70s), and I eat Mexican-inspired food quite a lot, so I really have no excuse. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that up until a year or two ago I refused to eat beans altogether due to their mealy texture, but I have since had a bean awakening and discovered that 1) not all beans taste the same, and 2) how they are prepared makes all the difference!
Again, Bayless saved the day. I chose pintos for my first batch of beans, and based my efforts off of his basic recipe for slow-cooker beans. However, it made sooo many beans that we couldn’t even use them all up (made two different batches of refried beans and ate some as is, and still had tons left), so I’ve adapted it to a more everyday scale.
Adapted from Mexican Everyday
Serves 4 with leftovers
1 heaping cup dried beans, picked through for stones or dirt and rinsed
1 quart water
2 T bacon drippings or vegetable oil
1 half an onion, roughly chopped
In a large pot, cover beans with the quart of water and bring to a rolling boil. Then pour water and beans into the slow-cooker and add onions and bacon drippings or oil. Cook on high for 6 hours or until tender, stirring once in awhile, and then season to taste with salt. Enjoy as the are, or fry them up to make refried beans.