Wash 2 - 3 cups of pinto or pink beans in a strainer. Check for and remove any dirt clods, stones and shriveled or otherwise bad-looking beans. Put beans in a pot or other suitable container and cover with a couple inches of cold water. Let beans soak overnight or at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse beans and put in an ovenproof container. I use a cast iron pot. A ceramic bean pot would be ideal, but I don't have one big enough. An oven-proof glass casserole or stainless steel pot can also be used.
Sauté some chopped onions and chopped fresh chilies in peanut or corn oil. I use a combination of mild Anaheims and/or poblanos, jalapenos and/or serranos for a bit of heat, and ripe Fresnos or other ripe red chilies, if available, for a bit of color. Stir the sautéed onions and chilies into the beans. Cover beans with an inch or two of broth. I use the smoky flavored broth I make and freeze from leftover smoked turkey or chicken if I have some available...regular chicken or turkey broth if not. De-stem and remove the seeds from a half dozen or so whole small dried chilies such as Fresno, puya or jalapeno...or 2 - 3 larger chilies such California, New Mexico and ancho. Sometimes I throw in a couple of chipotles as well for their nice smoky flavor and heat.
Stir in some ground cumin and crushed Mexican oregano (about half a teaspoon or to taste). Push a couple of sprigs of fresh epazote into the beans. Cover the pot and bake in an oven at 225 to 250F until beans are cooked through, usually 7 to 8 hours. After a couple of hours, check to make sure there's liquid covering the beans. Add liquid as necessary (broth or water is fine, but my homemade pumpkin ale works even better) to make sure the beans are still cooking in some broth. Remove the cover for the last hour or so and continue to add a little liquid if necessary to make sure there's some broth left at the end of cooking.
When the beans are done, fish out the epazote and dried chilies. Discard the epazote and put the chilies in a blender, add some of the bean broth and thoroughly puree. Add the broth/chile puree back to the bean pot and stir in. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper if desired.
Serve with shredded jack or cheddar cheese, chopped onion, sliced pickled jalapenos, salsa, hot sauce (or whatever else might suit your fancy) on the side to add per individual discretion. Enjoy...
From: Rich McCormack, email@example.com
Posted By: Rich McCormack, BBQ List
Post Date: Oct 17, 1998
*BACK TO BEANS*