Thursday, June 26, 2014


Frijoles de olla: free-HOLays de Oyya

An olla is a clay pot used for cooking soups, stews, and beans in Mexico. For these beans you can use a regular deep stockpot or Dutch oven or the faster way that I use: a pressure cooker. Traditionally, beans are also cooked with lard but I never have lard at home and I don't want to buy some just for the beans. So I cook them in oil and they're just fine. If I were using bacon for something, I'd render fat from bacon and use that and the beans would have a mind-blowing lard-y flavour. If you have good real lard in your kitchen, definitely use that to cook these beans!

The beans are not only a side dish, but can be used for so many other dishes: enfrijoladas, borracho or "drunken" beans, ranch-style beans, refried beans, bean soup, and on top of rice or nachos.

In the north and central parts of the country, pinto beans are popular, whereas black beans are more commonly served in the south. I had a bit of both, so I mixed them and I love the outcome.

Mexican Beans: Frijoles de Olla

makes: 8 - 10 servings

- 2 cups dried pinto beans, soaked overnight and drained 
- 1 cup black beans, soaked overnight and drained
- 1 medium white onion, peeled and chopped 
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped 
- 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
- 2 sprigs epazote (optional) 
- enough water to cover the beans by 1 inch 
- salt to taste

Garnishes: chopped onions, crumbled cotija cheese, sliced jalapeños, serranos, or chiles de arbol, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, chopped cabbage
  1. Place the beans in the pressure cooker with the onion, garlic, oil, epazote and water. Do not add salt until the beans have finished cooking. Cover and pressure cook until done. Add salt to taste.
  2. Transfer the beans to a serving bowl. Set out the garnishes on the table so each person can garnish to taste.

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