Frijoles de Olla Recipe

Cook Frijoles de Olla, garnish savory beans and learn how to make homemade refried beans all by yourself.

| December 2011/January 2012

  • Frijoles-de-Olle
    A bowl of stewy, savory beans makes a fine supper. 
    PHOTO: FOTOLIA/JJAVA

  • Frijoles-de-Olle

“Pot beans,” as frijoles de olla translates in English, are incredibly versatile. A pot of stewy beans on hand — whether frozen or just cooked — can turn into homemade refried beans, form the foundation of a non-Texan chili, be mashed into a base for bean dip or used to fill burritos. I like a big bowl of these hot from the pot, often served with cornbread or warmed tortillas and long-cooked pot greens on the side. Try some chopped onion or cilantro and shredded cheese to garnish the beans.

Ingredients:  

1 pound (about 2 1⁄2 cups) dry beans of any type: red, navy, pinto, black, adzuki, speckled, what have you 
2 tbsp bacon drippings 
1 medium onion, chopped 
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped 
1 bay leaf, broken in half 
Salt, to taste 

Instructions:  



Sort the beans by spilling them onto a baking sheet and removing any debris and broken beans.  Transfer the beans to a colander and rinse them under cold running water. Pour the beans into a deep, heavy, 4- to 6-quart pot, such as a cast-iron Dutch oven, with a lid. Add 2 1⁄2 quarts cold water (use filtered water if yours is hard), then remove any beans that float. Add the bacon drippings, onion, garlic and bay leaf. Bring the beans to a rolling boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat to low so the beans are at a gentle simmer. Cover the beans, tipping the lid a bit, and cook until they are thoroughly tender, about 2 hours. Add boiling water to the pot as needed to keep the broth covering the beans at its starting level.

When the beans are completely tender, season with 1 to 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt and cook 15 minutes longer. Eat as is, with salsa and additional chopped onion, or continue to the next step for refried beans.






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