Serving Size / Yield
- 1 lb. dried pinto beans (2 to 2-1/2 C.)
- 2 qts. water, possibly more as needed
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 sprigs fresh epazote (can be omitted)
- 2 tsp. salt, or to taste
Pick through the beans to discard any pebbles or other debris. Rinse the beans well and drain. Place the beans in a heavy pot. Pour in 2 quarts water, or enough to cover the beans by "two knuckles." Turn the heat on high. While the beans start to heat, quickly dice the onion (about 1 C. diced) and finely mince the garlic. Add the onion, garlic and epazote to the beans. Bring the beans to a boil on high, then reduce the heat so that the beans are at a bare simmer. Do not cover the pot. Note: A flame tamer will help distribute the heat evenly and keep the bottom from scorching. Simmer the beans slowly, without stirring, for 1 hour. Then stir the beans up from the bottom. If necessary, add enough water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Simmer another 30 minutes, then stir and check the water level again. If needed, add enough water to cover the beans by 1/2 inch. When the beans start to feel soft, stir in the salt. Check the beans every 15 minutes or so, stirring and adding just enough water to now just barely cover the beans. When the beans are cooked through, remove the epazote. You should end up with enough liquid to cover the beans. To thicken the bean broth, puree 1/2 to 1 C. of the beans and return them to the pot.
Serve the beans in small bowls or C. with some of their liquid, or drain them and use them in other recipes.