Lately, I have been experiment cooking basic black beans. I was intrigued with a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. It involved performing two things that I haven’t tried before (at least with beans). These were brining and cooking in the oven. And the recipe is as follows:
Remove any stones or ugly beans from a one pound bag of black beans. Soak them overnight (unrefrigerated) in four quarts of water with three tablespoons of salt added (dissolved of course).
Discard the water and rinse the beans thoroughly a couple of times to remove the salt. Cooking beans in salted water will toughen the skins. However, beans soaked in salted water will help create a creamy texture.
Put the beans in a pan and cover them with water. Add sliced garlic, a couple of bay leaves, oregano, onion powder, and some chopped pancetta. Bring the water up to a simmer. And then place the covered pan into an oven set to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the beans for an hour.
The beans came out great! The next time I am going to try cooking some meat in there. The temperature is perfect for converting collagen into gelatin. I think a pound of Ox tails would work well.