Frijoles de la Olla

3 Oct

I decided to take it easy this time around.  Normally, I try to figure out what I’m going to make for my new post ahead of time, but I couldn’t think of anything… actually I knew what I wanted to make and I thought it might be too simple – but sometimes, that’s all you need.  Today, for the first time I made frijoles de la olla, beans from a pot.  I had been craving this dish since Autumn rolled around + I have not had it since I moved to Columbus, so I was due.

This dish is very easy to make and its so delicious, it’s just pinto beans in its broth along with garnishes, if you’re into that.  Since we have started this blog, I have been talking to my mom more and more about food and how she makes things.  It’s kind of hard to pin point her recipes because she has been cooking for so long; she doesn’t really measure anything, she knows it by heart, by smell, by taste and I love that.  That has been my favorite part about cooking and learning how to make the things that my mom would make my brother and I growing up.  As I was sorting through the beans a very distant memory crawled back up to surface, I had not cleaned/sorted beans since I was a kid.  I remember I used to love helping my mom and my Nana do this.  We would look for and remove little rocks, dirt or beans that were shriveled up and broken, “lipiando el frijol” (cleaning the beans) .  It brought a smile to my face because I could picture my mom and my Nana’s hands doing the same thing that I was doing now.

Frijoles de la Olla (inspired by my mom and Nana Maria Justa)

1 lb. of pinto beans (I bought a 16 oz. bag of Goya brand beans)

-sea salt


For garnish (optional)

-sour cream

-dollop of mayo

-sliced chiles

-diced onion

-chopped cilantro

Sort through the beans making sure you remove any little rocks, dirt particles or any beans that look shriveled up, discolored, or broken.  You want to remove guys that look like this.

Wash beans thoroughly with cold water in a colander.

I made the mistake, per my mom, of putting the beans in the pot, then adding water.  Everything turned out pretty good, but according to her, you want to fill the pot with water, salt to taste, bring water to a boil first, THEN add the beans (sorry mom!).  I don’t know how many quarts my stock pot is so I couldn’t tell you how much water to add exactly.  What I can tell you is that I put a pound of pinto beans in my pot and filled it with water half way, probably two and a half to three inches of water above the beans.

When you bring your water to a boil, and you add the beans, the beans are going to be hanging out at the bottom of the pot for a while.  Cover pot with lid and set heat on high for an hour.  You want to make sure there is still plenty of water in your pot.  If you have lost some water, simply add enough hot water so that the beans are still immersed.

After an hour, the beans will rise up, once they do that, give the pot a stir, lower heat to medium,  add a few more grinds of sea salt  and simmer for another hour, hour and a half.

The beans should start changing color and losing their spots as they are boiling in water.

I boiled my beans for a little over two hours.   I then scooped out a few beans to make sure they were tender and soft to the touch.  You’re going to want to taste them as well to make sure they are fully cooked.  If they are not, leave on the heat a little bit longer until soft.

I served my beans in a deep bowl and garnished with chopped cilantro, diced onions and little slivers of jalapeño and chile rojo from my plant.  I normally like eating my beans with a dollop of sour cream or mayo, but again we lack that in our home since we don’t eat it too often so I went for the good ol’ plain Fage Greek yogurt and a rolled up corn tortilla.  I’m so glad I decided to make this, especially on a rainy evening.

( joanna )

One Response to “Frijoles de la Olla”

  1. Sophia October 4, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    Love it!

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