Tips and tricks for making a really good pot of beans. Use this for chickpeas, black beans, butter beans or more. All you need are your favorite beans, some flavor agents and time.
- 1 lb dried beans (I used chickpeas here)
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda (optional)
- 1 onion
- 1 head garlic
- 2 jalapenos (see note)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 bunch cilantro stems, tied with twine (optional)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Place 1 lb chickpeas in a large pot with a lid (use what you'll cook them in!). Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda and enough water to cover by 2-3 inches. Cover and let sit overnight or at least 6 hours.
- Preheat oven to 450. Add about 2 teaspoons oil to a baking sheet.
- Halve 1 yellow onion (I like to keep the skins on). Cut the top off 1 garlic head, and then wrap the entire thing in foil. Add onion, cut side down, garlic and 2 jalapenos to baking sheet. Rub jalapenos on the sheet a little to ensure they're fully coated in oil.
- Roast vegetables for 35-40 minutes, until very well charred.
- While vegetables are roasting, place pot with beans over high heat. Let come to a boil, uncovered, and skim off any foam that arises (there will likely be a lot!).
- Once beans are boiling and most of the foam is gone, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer until vegetables are done.
- When onions and jalapenos are charred, and garlic roasted and soft, add to pot.
- Add 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, cilantro stems and 1/3 cup olive oil. Stir well and let beans simmer, uncovered, on medium-low for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, check beans and broth. Taste the broth and add more salt if needed. Check beans for doneness - you want them to be evenly soft throughout, but still intact. If you try one and it seems done, try at least two more to make sure the whole pot is cooked through.
- When beans are done, turn off heat and add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.
- I like to keep the onions, jalapenos and garlic in the pot even once cooled, but you can fish them out if you want.
- Serve in so many ways!
- The baking soda is optional, but one time I heard it helps make the beans cook more evenly so I figure it can't hurt.
- Even with the 2 jalapenos, this pot of beans is not spicy at all. They just add this lovely charred pepper flavor. Roasting them mellows them out perfectly and adding them whole means the seeds are not going to go everywhere. With that said, if you want to add some spice feel free to cut them in half before adding, or even throw in a raw jalapeno!
- If you don't want to babysit the beans, you can also cook them in the oven. Start them off on the stove so you can still skim that foam off, but then you can easily add your flavorings and stick them in a 275 degree oven (covered), Cook for an hour, check to see how they are doing, and then continue cooking as needed. Depending on the size and age of your beans, this could take anywhere from 1-3 hours.
- Don't throw the broth away! Store the beans with the broth in the fridge or freezer. It's far too good to ignore.