Along with the weekly rice, come the beans. We rarely have one without the other. One grandchild likes just rice; one- just beans; fortunately, one likes them both!! (He's my favorite! LOL!) This is a major go-to protein source for any wholesome vegetarian OR carnivore. Not to mention they taste out-of-this-world GREAT; better than you'll ever get from a restaurant! I probably don't need to tell you how to eat these, or with what. Let me just say, I use a pressure cooker, and that is how this recipe will be geared. (I will put the overnight soak, cook-for- hours instructions immediately following my method.)
1First, and most importantly, spread your beans out on a clean, dry surface. You need to sort the beans, removing and discarding any broken pieces, rocks, or shriveled beans. Obviously, anything that isn't a bean, as well ;)
2Place the beans in the pot of the pressure cooker, fill 1/2 full with warm water, and WASH the beans. Not with soap, but with your hands. Really scrub them together, like you mean it. You don't want to be eating the dirt in which they were grown do you? (Just for fun, dump the water into a container so you can see how much dirt you got off. You will be amazed!) Uck!
3For a quick soak: add enough water to cover the beans by ~ 4". Place the pot on the stove over high heat, bring it to the boil for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover for 1 hour. Continue with step 5.
4Over night soak: add enough water to cover the beans by ~ 4". Cover, and allow to sit, overnight, unrefridgerated. In the morning, continue with step 6.
5After one hour, dump all of the soaking water, refill with water to cover the beans by 1" only. Add oil, onion, and salt; bring to the boil. Follow manufacturers guidelines on how long to cook your beans. (I have a Kuhn-Rikon Duromatic 5 qt. and have never, ever, been afraid while using it. In my research, it was the safest I could find on the market at the time of purchase three years ago.) With mine, at this point, I cover with the pressure lid, wait for the pressure to rise,(takes ~ 4 minutes), visualize the second red ring, turn the heat to absolute low, and allow to cook 20-25 minutes. At that time, turn off the heat and allow the pressure to reduce naturally. This usually takes 10 minutes or so.
6For overnight soak: In the morning, dump the water, and refill pot to 2" above beans. Bring to the boil over high heat, add the oil, onion, and salt, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until soft- usually 3-4 hours. Check beans every 30 minutes, or so, and add water to keep the beans submerged. When soft, they are done. Enjoy.
7Serve these in the broth they form, adding rice, or meat, crumbly cheese, an egg; whatever your imagination tells you. However, drain, and store, the broth separately from the beans, as they will last longer in the fridge this way. These freeze really well, also. Hope you'll give these a try. They are wonderful.