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Posted by in La Paz | 0 comments

Beans (640x640)

No entiendo. Why do we suck at cooking beans? I thought we had our recipe all figured out. Then we cooked them this morning and, while edible, they’re not all that good. I even took pictures of all the steps, which I’m not going to include because that implies you should follow our steps.

Here’s what we did after polling a few people in restaurants, as well as some theories on what went wrong. Please tell us if you have any ideas.


– Remove rocks from pinto beans (photo below) and give them a quick rinse
– Put dry beans in pot of water; bring to a boil, then turn off heat and let soak overnight
– Add half a chopped white onion and dried ancho chile to pot; boil for two hours
– In a separate pot, heat up lard and cook the other half of the onion
– Add beans to lard and mash, using some of the cooking water as needed to achieve the desired consistency
– Salt to taste


Rocks (640x638)



– Perhaps we’re supposed to keep the onion and dried chile whole and only with the beans while boiling, then remove them before mashing.
– Maybe we need better quality lard. We used a packaged brand — it wasn’t fresh from the butcher. Or perhaps we should use grease from chorizo? Or salt pork?
– Is two hours long enough? Maybe we need to boil them even longer.
– I’ve made refried black beans using chicken stock, sauteed onion, garlic and cumin, but it seems that’s the gringo way — adding so many ingredients. Do we even need the onion and chile?

We’ll keep trying and let you know what we learn.

Here’s a photo from our walk today after watching the Mexico v. New Zealand World Cup qualifier.


A colorful building in La Paz, Mexico

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