12oz dried red kidney, pinto or black
haricot beans, picked over and rinsed
2 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 or more serrano chilies (small fresh
2 tbsp corn oil
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
sprigs of fresh bay leaves, to garnish
Put the beans into a pan and add cold
water to cover by 1 inch. Add half the onion, half the garlic, the bay
leaf and the chili. Bring to the boil and boil vigorously for about 10
minutes. Put the beans and liquid into an earthenware pot or large
saucepan, cover and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes. Add boiling
water if the mixture starts to become dry. When the
beans begin to wrinkle, add 1tbsp of the corn oil and cook for a further
30 minutes or until the beans are tender. Add salt to taste and cook for
30 minutes more, but do not add any more water. Remove the beans from
the heat. Heat the remaining oil in a small frying pan and sauté the
remaining onion and garlic until the onion is soft. Add the tomatoes and
cook for a few minutes more.
Spoon 3 tbsp
of the beans out of the pot or pan and add them to the tomato mixture.
Mash to a paste. Stir this into the beans to thicken the liquid. Cook
for just long enough to heat through, if necessary. Serve the beans in
small bowls and garnish with sprigs of fresh bay leaves.
In Yucatan black haricot beans are cooked
with the Mexican herb epazote.
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