Pintos & Vallartas

Char-grilled octopus with heirloom beans.

Begin by soaking 1 lb of beans overnight. If you’re cooking both styles of bean, don’t mix them and cook together since they both cook for different lengths of time. Cook them individually and combine while they’re cooling.

Drain, rinse, then place in stock pot and fill with enough cold water that they’re completely submerged, plus a couple extra inches.


1 carrot, peeled and cut into quarters

1 stalk celery, cut in half

1 onion quartered with the end still intact

6 cloves garlic

2 big pinches of chili powder

1 little pinch mexican oregano

2 bay leaves

2 dried chipotle peppers

Bring just below a boil, then turn down to a low simmer. Boiling the beans will harden them, SO DON’T LET THEM BOIL. Simmer gently until the beans are soft and not chalky. Sometimes this takes an hour, sometimes 3 hours. I don’t really understand why. Just don’t rush them. If the water gets low go ahead and add enough to keep the beans covered.

When the beans are ready, add:

1 sprig of thyme, 1 sprig of sage tied with a bit of butcher twine

salt generously to taste

As the beans cool they will absorb all the flavor and salt from the veggies and herbs and spices. Once they’re cool enough remove all that stuff. Sometimes I’ll add a small splash of vinegar. It adds a nice acidity and helps preserve the beans. They should last you about a week before turning.

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