These are organic black beans grown in rotation with grains and cover crops by Peter Schiltz in Lawrenceville NY, halfway between the northern edge of the Adirondacks and the waters of the St. Lawrence.
Soak beans overnight. For optimum digestibility, pour off the soaking liquid and refill with fresh water (You can cook them in their soaking liquid for a richer stock, though this also can result in extra magical fruit effects).
Cook the beans on low heat to medium-low heat for about one hour. A lid on hastens cook time, but leave it slightly ajar to avoid having the beans foam over and out of the pot. We source our beans fresh from farmers each year and as such they cook more quickly than commodity beans from the grocery store. Keep an eye on them as you get acquainted.
These beans cook down to a creamy toothsomeness, lending themselves to a rich stock (also known as pot liquor), and an incredibly versatile bean.
To season the beans, start with one teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of spices (oregano, cumin, chili powder are all standard here), adding more to taste. Adding one tablespoon of a quality cooking oil can help inhibit foaming, and also is just nice. The presence of fat helps your tongue detect flavors and adds a greater level of satiety. Organic sunflower oil is our most common go-to, but there are no real bad choices here.
You can add another teaspoon of seaweed for some umami, extra minerals, and purportedly better digestiblity. One-half teaspoon of baking soda per pound can hasten the cooking time and is a standard in some circles. Never ever add any acidity (not even tomatoes) until the beans have gotten to your desired texture, as acid inhibits the hydration of the beans' endosperm. On the other hand, when the beans are at your desired texture, adding one tablespoon of cider vinegar or a citrus juice can help maintain that texture and keep the beans from 'overcooking' in situations like cold bean salads where we are looking for intact beans. No matter what recipe you are following, adding acidity towards the end of the cooking always balances out and elevates a dish. Pairing with ferments is another great way to achieve this elevated state.
Cooked beans will last up to one week in the fridge, or several months in the freezer without impairment.