When I was growing up, my mami made a batch of frijoles de la olla every Monday to use in meals all throughout the week. The smell of beans slowly cooking away on the stove reminds me of my childhood. Now, as a mami myself, I make beans every Monday, just like her, but I like to let my slow cooker do the work.
These frijoles are the perfect base for charro beans, or they can be used to make refried beans. Have leftovers? Simply freeze them for another meal. Thaw the beans overnight in the fridge when ready to use.
Frijoles de la Olla
Serves 8 to 10
dried pinto beans
medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
Serving options: chopped fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes, and Mexican crema or queso fresco
Wash and pick through the beans, removing any bits of debris or broken beans, and place them in a colander. Rinse and drain under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain.
Combine the beans, onion, garlic, and bay leaves in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker and add enough water to cover the beans by at least 2 inches. Cover and cook on the LOW setting for 6 to 8 hours until the beans are tender but not mushy or falling apart, checking after 3 hours for doneness. If the beans are not done, continue cooking. Add more water as needed so that there is least 2 inches of water covering the beans at all times. This will help the beans to cook more evenly. Remove and discard the onion and bay leaves. Taste and season with salt as needed.
Serve warm in large bowls garnished with cilantro, tomatoes, and crema, or a sprinkle of the queso fresco if desired.
Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
Reprinted with permission from The Tex-Mex Slow Cooker: 100 Delicious Recipes for Easy Everyday Meals by Vianney Rodriguez. Copyright © 2018 by Countryman Press. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Jason David Page.