Wednesday, March 2, 2011

#16 - Mamu's Beans

We've known how to make tortillas for a while now, we can make some pretty good salsa and guacamole, and we even know how to make yummy pork tacos. The problem is, we don't know how to make a complete Mexican meal. So today, we're attempting to make two new things - rice and beans.

Mamu's been making both of these for as long as anyone can remember, and before her it was the Great Mu cooking up a storm. So the recipes we were given are a little less precise and more along the lines of "you'll know when it's right," so it was a bit of an adventure.

First up: beans!

Mamu's Beans

From The Great Mu
You don't need much to make beans. And it's not too much work to make sure you have all these things around the kitchen at all times.
The first step is to clean the beans. This is the step that makes you feel like you are a maid in a telenovela.
After the beans are cleaned and rinsed, you plop them in a pot to boil for several hours. Then you start on the sauce. Based on this picture, we probably didn't add enough water to the pot before boiling because that looks pretty low.
Overall, our beans came out pretty well. We made them a night in advance so we could concentrate on the rice today, and we refried them when it was time to eat. They came out a little salty, but that's probably because we added the right amount of salt but we boiled off too much water.

Other than that, they tasted really good, and we're definitely on the right track. We just need to make them about 3,000 more times to catch up with Mamu.
Here's the best we could do at typing up a solid recipe:
  • 1 lb dry pinto beans
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 1/2 Tbs salt
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup sweet onions
  • 8 oz can Hunt's tomato sauce
  1. Clean the beans, by spreading them on a table and rolling them between your fingers. Throw away any loose rocks or pieces of dirt that got packaged with the beans and any beans that are broken in half. Keep the cleaned beans in a colander.
  2. Rinse the beans in water, and put in 8 qt pot.
  3. Fill the pot with water to cover the beans by about 4 inches, and add garlic.
  4. Cook covered on medium-high heat until boiling.
  5. Lower the heat to medium-low, making sure the beans are still boiling slightly, and keep covered.
  6. Cook for 2 1/2 hours.
  7. Add salt, and cook for another 1/2 hour.
  8. At the same time, cook the bacon in a large pan, and remove.
  9. Chop the onions, and saute them in bacon fat until translucent.
  10. Add the tomato sauce and some of the bean water, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  11. Scoop out the garlic from the bean pot and discard.
  12. Place 2 cups of beans and 1 cup of bean water in blender and blend thoroughly.
  13. Pour the blended beans into the sauce.
  14. Scoop and drain all the beans into the sauce, squishing the beans with the spoon as you combine.
  15. Cook for 15-20 minutes, adding salt if necessary.
  16. Store in refrigerator uncovered, and to reheat, cook a few strips of bacon and heat the beans in the fat.

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