1 hour 45 mins
Serves: 4 Double as needed.
1 cup of dried pinto beans
1 small white onion, peeled
2 crushed cloves of garlic
1 whole large Serrano or Jalapeño pepper, stemmed and seeded (Serranos are normally hottest.)
Tbsp. vegetable oil
Pick through the beans and remove any debris, beans that have split or are otherwise damaged. Thoroughly rinse and set aside. In a large pot heat tablespoon of oil, then sauté the pepper and onion just until the onion begins to turn translucent and the pepper forms blisters.
Add crushed garlic and sauté until it softens, stirring so as not to burn.
Add the beans you set aside into the pot then pour in enough water to cover the beans by 3 inches. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer until the beans have softened. Keep an eye on them and check occasionally to see if more water needs to be added.
Once the beans are softer, add your salt. Approximately 1 tbsp. or more according to taste. Allow to simmer over medium heat and uncovered for another 15 minutes.
At this time the beans should be cooked through and the skins slide off.
Taste and add more salt if desired. Remove onion, garlic, and pepper before serving or if you intend to mash them for refried beans.
When I do this I reserve some of the bean broth in case the beans dry out too much when mashing. I also like to add cumin when mashing, before reheating, but that’s all according to personal taste.