I found this recipe in the Penzey spice magazine and have made it several times and shared it with others. It has become a favorite recipe for Mexican flavored beans. I really love this recipe. The credit for it goes to Chris Kraft of Tucson, AZ. It is a delicious combination of flavors that really works. This recipe introduced me to epazote, a Mexican herb. Apparently it has been used in Mexican cuisine for thousands of years and dates back to the Aztecs. It is said to relieve the gassiness that can be created from eating beans. Not sure if it works, but I have been adding it to some of my Mexican dishes and soups and do enjoy the flavor it adds. Also I have made this without the bacon, creating a vegetarian version of these frjioles.
- 1 pound pinto beans, dry
- 14 cups water, divided
- 1 Tablespoon dry epazote
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 fresh chili peppers, roasted and chopped (like Anaheim, pablano,red chili, jalapeno)
- 4 strips thick bacon
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Place the beans in a large pot with 7 cups of the water. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered for 1 to 3 hours. Pour off the cooking water, rinse the beans and add 7 cups of fresh water, epazote, garlic and half of the chopped onion. Simmer until beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hour.
Add the salt for the last 30 minutes.
Roast the chili peppers in a 400 degree oven until the skin browns and bubbles. Let cool, peel off the skin, discard the skin and seeds, and chop the peppers. Set aside. While the beans are simmering, fly the bacon until almost crisp. Remove the bacon from the frying pan and drain the fat from the pan. Add the olive oil and when the oil is hot, add the remaining 1/2 of onion, tomato, garlic, and roasted pepper. Cook for 1 minutes. Now add to the beans along with the bacon and cilantro. Simmer for 5 more minutes.