A traditional Mexican bean dish that tastes great with tortillas and vegetable chili.
1¼-1½ cups dried red kidney, pinto or black beans, picked over and rinsed
2 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 or more small fresh green chiles
2 tablespoons corn oil
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
sprigs of fresh bay leaves, to garnish
1. Put the beans in a pan and add cold water to cover by 1 inch.
2. Add half the onion, half the garlic, the bay leaf and the chile or chiles. Bring to a boil and boil vigorously for about 10 minutes. Put the beans and liquids into an earthenware pot or large saucepan, cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Add boiling water if the mixtures starts to become dry.
3. When the beans begin to wrinkle, add 1 tablespoon of the corn oil and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the beans are tender. Add salt to taste and cook for 30 minutes more, but try to avoid adding any more water.
4. Remove the beans from the heat. Heat the remaining oil in a small frying pan and saut the remaining onion and garlic together until the onion is soft. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes more.
5. Spoon 3 tablespoons of the beans out of the pot or pan and add them to the tomato mixture. Mash to a paste. Stir into the beans to thicken the liquid. Cook for just long enough to heat through, if necessary. Serve the beans in small bowls and garnish with fresh bay leaves.