Black Beans...again! Pls Help
Let me get this straight....
Put the dried beans with plenty of water in a pot and on the stove.
Simmer (for how long)
Whay can't I figure this out?
soak them first overnight.
Bring to the boil in plenty of water, turn down and simmer with a lid until they are soft. Probably about an hour to an hour and a half. Till they are soft.
This is a different way to cook them without soaking overnight.
Pick through the beans and wash thoroughly. In a large pot add water to cover by about 1". Bring to a boil, covered. Turn off heat and let the beans sit for 1/2 hour. Drain, add fresh water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and cook til tender. Add seasonings in the last hour of cooking.
If you use epazote, use it sparingly. It is strong and an acquired taste.
re: Sam Fujisaka
i use sam's method, with addition of bay leaf & celery trimmings. the 2 soaking methods will also work great, but those methods work best for bigger beans like kidney, dried lima, etc. with little beans like most black beans or navy you can get away with a quick soak while rinsing.
adding salt or acidic foods (beware the tomato) too early in the cooking can toughen the skins of the beans, so add them last, after the beans are already soft. don't forget to fish out your bay leaves. once you get the hang of beans you can do them in your sleep. i like to get them from food co-ops, they are always cheap in bulk and very fresh, which means they don't take as long to cook.
You didn't say but if you want them to be like the black beans in Cuban restaurants you should puree about half of them after they're cooked soft. You can put half of them through a food processor or blender. Or just wade in with the potato masher. But you want that semi-pureed gravy-like effect. Also cook with some onion, green pepper, garlic, bay leaf, and some garlic powder, and definitely some comino (powdered cumin) with the beans, and it doesn't hurt if you have a ham bone. Then puree, then correct the seasoning with more salt, garlic powder, and comino. If you do this right you can make up a lot at once and freeze the product in pints. Then you can use it either as black bean soup (add a glug of sherry) or to spoon over rice with any meat or fish as an entree.
Get a large pot on the stove filled with water, add 1 or 2 onions coarsely chopped and a few peeled garlic cloves (I leave them whole)& a bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, rinse 2 cups or so of dried beans, then add to the pot. Cook on med-low heat (simmering nicely) for 1.5 to 2 hours, until you test one & it's soft. Add salt only at this point. While it's cooking you may need to add some boiling water to bring it up to about an inch above the beans. Enjoy them when they're freshly cooked as a soup (you can add chopped avocado,cheese etc on top of each serving), next day mixed with salsa & rice, next day mashed & fried (fry some onion in the oil before you add the mashed beans)...on & on. You can freeze plain cooked beans in containers to use later in different ways. Practical.
And don't worry - it's just ' cook until done'!