This tasty, inexpensive Mexican bean recipe goes together in a flash but requires long, slow cooking.  The savory flavor comes from salt pork, tomatoes, cilantro, onion and garlic that are simmered together for about 3 hours. 

Traditional Frijoles
Serves 6
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
3 hr
  1. 8 cups water
  2. 1 pound dried pinto beans, rinsed, drained, and sorted
  3. 4 ounces salt pork
  4. 1 medium onion, chopped
  5. 1 large tomato, chopped
  6. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  7. 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  8. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  9. 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  10. 1 serrano chile (optional)
  1. Bring first 8 ingredients, 1/4 tsp. salt, and, if desired, serrano chile to a boil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven.
  2. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat 3 hours or until beans are tender.
  3. Stir in remaining 1 tsp. salt.
  4. Remove and discard salt pork and chile before serving.
  1. Cook 4 cups Traditional Frijoles in 1 Tbsp. hot vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Reduce heat, and mash beans with a potato masher as they cook, adding water if necessary to keep moist.
  3. Simmer, stirring often