I use a pressure cooker to cook beans, because it’s so much easier. I would highly recommend getting one. You can definitely cook the beans in a regular pot, but plan ahead and soak the beans overnight.
- 2 cups dried pinto beans
- 8 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup canola oil
- 2 cups yellow onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- Pinch cayenne
In a large pressure cooker, combine the beans, bay leaves, and water. Do not fill pressure cooker more than half full. Cook for about 30-35 minutes on high pressure. Save some of the cooking water. Alternately, you can soak the beans overnight and cook in a large pot with enough water to cover by about 2 inches for about 1½-2 hours, covered.
When the beans are soft, mash in a large pot (I used a cast iron dutch oven) with a potato masher or the back of a heavy wooden spoon. Remove from the heat.
In a skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeño, chili powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant (45 seconds to 1 minute.) Add the ½ cup of canola oil, and stir to combine.
Add the contents of the skillet to the large pot with the mashed up beans. Add about ½ cup of the cooking water from the beans. Add more or less depending on what consistency you prefer. Stir to combine.
Cook, stirring with a heavy wooden spoon, until the mixture forms a thick paste, about 5 to 10 minutes, adding water 1 tablespoon at a time as necessary to keep from getting dry. Adjust seasoning if necessary.