Mexican-Style Beans – Recipe
- Use pinto, kidney, or black ‘turtle’ beans (the beans in the photo above are pinto).
- Soak beans overnight in plenty of cold water. (Use whatever quantity of beans you want, the recipe remains more or less constant)
- Drain beans.
- Put beans in big saucepan or pressure cooker and cover with unsalted water so that the water is about 3 inches above beans.
- Add a single clove spice ‘nail’.
- Bring water to boil and make sure the beans boil hard for at least 2 mins.
- Turn heat down and simmer beans for about 1.5 hours (or much less if using pressure cooker – check manufacturer’s instructions). If using normal pan, check regularly to make sure there is enough water to cover beans. Add more water if necessary.
- Check that the beans are cooked. They should be soft. If they are hard then cook for longer.
Now, keeping the beans and the cooking liquor in the pan, add a heaped teaspoon of vegetable bouillon, a squeeze of tomato puree, and a good pinch of salt to the beans.
- Simmer down the beans for another 30-40 minutes until the liquor has concentrated and thickened.
Towards the end of the simmering period, in a separate frying pan in 2 tablespoons of olive oil fry a finely chopped large onion, a fresh chilli, and some garlic. When the onion is golden, add a heaped teaspoon of ground cumin and a flat teaspoon of paprika (sweet and/or smoked). Fry the mixture for 2 more minutes until the spices become fragrant.
- Add the onion mixture to the simmering bean pan (deglaze the frying pan with some of the bean juice to get all the flavour), stir.
- Simmer the beans and onion mix for another 3 minutes.
- Check seasoning and add salt to taste.
- Add finely chopped coriander leaves and stalks, stir.