Refried Ayocote Beans

(Ayocotes Refritos)

Large, mealy ayocote beans, pink to purplish black in color, are a favorite in Morelos. This dish may also be made with pinto beans or red kidney beans, though the initial cooking time would be considerably shorter.

Refried Ayocote Beans
Large, mealy ayocote beans, pink to purplish black in color, are a favorite in Morelos.
Yield: serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. dried ayocote beans, picked over and well rinsed
  • 12 cup canola oil
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and thickly sliced
  • Salt
  • 40 fresh avocado leaves, cleaned and torn into small pieces
  • 6 oz. cotija cheese or ricotta salata, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Put beans and 6 cups water into a medium pot and set aside to let soak overnight.
  2. The following day, add 10 cups cold water to beans and the soaking water in pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, 3 12-4 hours. Add 14-12 cup hot water to pot if beans begin to dry out.
  3. Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid, and set beans and cooking liquid aside separately.
  4. Heat oil in a heavy medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until very dark brown but not burned, 10-12 minutes. Remove onions with a slotted spoon and discard. Add beans and 1 tbsp. salt to pot and cook, stirring and mashing beans with the back of the spoon to a coarse paste, 2-3 minutes. Stir in reserved cooking liquid, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, 5-8 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, put avocado leaves and 12 cup water into a blender or food processor and puree to a thick fibrous paste, adding up to 2 tbsp. water, if needed. Strain puree into a small bowl, firmly pressing on solids with back of a spoon, and discard solids. Stir strained avocado leaf juice into beans and continue simmering, stirring often, until thickened, 8-10 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Sprinkle cheese over beans.