(Note: I did some research on the conventional wisdom that says you shouldn’t cook beans with salt because it will make them tougher, and it turns out that’s not actually true. So go ahead and use salt.0
(Slightly) Spicy, Garlicky Rio Zape Beans
1 cup dried Rio Zape beans
1 small white onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4-8 large garlic cloves, minced (the amount depends on your love of garlic)
1/2 oz grated pecorino romano (optional)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
vegetable or chicken broth (variable, but several cups)
2-6 shakes liquid smoke
1/2 to 1 tsp salt (only if using low-salt broth!)
Rinse beans, then cover with 2 inches of water in a large bowl, and soak 6 hours or overnight.
Drain and rinse beans, then put beans in a stock pot, add all ingredients up through the broth, then add broth to cover beans by 2 inches. (You’ll want to taste the broth and adjust it with the liquid smoke and salt to your liking, but you might want to wait until it’s heated to do so. You’ll also want to go a bit light on the salt, since as it reduces, it will become more salty). Bring to a boil, then cook for 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, and simmer for about 1+1/2 to 2 hours (until beans are tender to your liking), checking every 20 minutes or so, and adding broth as needed to keep the beans submerged (towards the end you just want them to be barely under the broth, so the results aren’t too soupy, but you do want a little juice left. Once the beans are tender enough, you can turn up the heat and cook off a some of the excess broth if you like. Serve over brown rice.