Posted on: September 25, 2021 Posted by: janine Comments: 0

Adapted from Milk Street

This was definitely the most flavorful pot of beans I have ever made!

Shredded pork and Salsa Fresca (recipes below) are optional additions to the dish.

  • FOR THE BEANS:
    • 1 lb dried cranberry beans, picked over and rinsed (I use pinto beans)
    • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons lard or neutral flavored oil (I use olive or grapeseed oil)
    • 1 medium white onion, chopped
    • 2 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    • 1 bunch cilantro, stems finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped (keep separate)
    • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth, pork broth, or water (I use chicken broth)
  • FOR THE SOFRITO:
    • 2 tablespoons lard or neutral oil
    • 1 large white onion, chopped
    • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
    • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
    • 2 jalapeno chilies, seeded, and finely chopped (or leave seeds in for extra spicy)

  1. For the beans:
    • Place beans in a large bowl and add 8 cups water plus 2 tablespoons salt; stir to dissolve salt. Soak the beans overnight.
    • Drain the beans. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat.
    • Add
      • 1 medium white onion, chopped
      • 1 teaspoon salt
    • Cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
    • Stir in:
      • 2 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
      • 1 bunch of the cilantro stems
    • Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
    • Stir in the beans and broth, then bring to a boil over medium-high.
    • Cover, reduce to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 1 hour.
  2. For the sofrito:
    • Heat 2 tablespoons lard or oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-heat.
    • Stir in:
      • 1 large white onion, chopped
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • Cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
    • Add:
      • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
      • Stir in 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
      • 2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped.
    • Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have broken down, the liquid they released has cooked off, and the mixture begins to sizzle, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. When the beans are done, remove the pot from the heat and let stand, uncovered, for 30 minutes to allow the liquid to thicken slightly.
  4. Return the beans to a simmer over medium, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the sofrito and shredded pork (if using). Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then stir in the cilantro leaves. Serve with salsa fresca on the side.

Shredded Pork and Broth

  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • 2 jalapeño chilies, stemmed
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  1. In a large pot, combine the pork, jalapeños, 1 teaspoon salt, and 7 cups water.
  2. Bring to a boil over high, then reduce to low, cover and cook until a skewer inserted into the pork meets no resistance, 60 to 75 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a medium bowl; set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, pour the broth through a fine mesh sieve set over a large bowl and allow to cool.
  4. When the pork is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size pieces, discarding any fat and gristle. Cover both the broth and shredded meat and refrigerate until ready to use, or up to 3 days.

Salsa Fresca

  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, cored and finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño chili, stemmed, seeded and minced (keep seeds for extra spicy)
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, vinegar, oil, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the salsa to a serving bowl, leaving behind the liquid. Taste and season with salt.

Mexican Stewed Beans (A.k.a The Best Beans in the World)

Ingredients

  • FOR THE BEANS:
  • 1 POUND DRIED CRANBERRY (or Pinto) BEANS, PICKED OVER AND RINSED
  • KOSHER SALT AND GROUND BLACK PEPPER
  • 2 TABLESPOONS LARD OR NEUTRAL OIL
  • 1 MEDIUM WHITE ONION, CHOPPED
  • 2 MEDIUM GARLIC CLOVES, THINLY SLICED
  • 1 BUNCH CILANTRO, STEMS FINELY CHOPPED, LEAVES ROUGHLY CHOPPED, RESERVED SEPARATELY
  • 1.5 QUARTS LOW-SODIUM CHICKEN BROTH, PORK BROTH OR WATER
  • FOR THE SOFRITO:
  • 2 TABLESPOONS LARD OR NEUTRAL OIL
  • 1 LARGE WHITE ONION, CHOPPED
  • KOSHER SALT AND GROUND BLACK PEPPER
  • 4 MEDIUM GARLIC CLOVES, MINCED
  • 2 POUNDS RIPE TOMATOES, CORED AND ROUGHLY CHOPPED (I only had 2 tomatoes and it worked fine)
  • 2 JALAPEÑO CHILIES, STEMMED, SEEDED AND FINELY CHOPPED

Instructions

1

To prepare the beans, in a large bowl, combine the beans with 2 quarts water and 2 tablespoons salt; stir to dissolve salt. Cover and soak the beans overnight at room temperature.

2

Drain the beans. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes.

3

Stir in the garlic and cilantro stems. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the beans and broth, then bring to a boil over medium-high. Cover, reduce to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 1 hour.

4

While the beans cook, make the sofrito. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium, heat the lard until shimmering. Add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

5

Add the tomatoes and jalapeños and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have broken down, the liquid they released has cooked off and the mixture begins to sizzle, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

6

When the beans are done, remove the pot from the heat and let stand uncovered for 30 minutes to allow the liquid to thicken slightly. Return the beans to a simmer over medium, stirring occasionally.

7

Add the sofrito and shredded pork (if using). Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then stir in the cilantro leaves. Serve with salsa fresca on the side.

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