Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans


(Adapted from recipes in Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen and Mexican Everyday, and from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s The Food Lab)


I don’t really know if the epazote made a difference. I have some growing in a pot outside. Bayless recommends it for black beans. If you can’t find it, I think the beans will still be great if you omit it.

Make it vegetarian by using oil instead of the bacon grease. If you use oil, Bayless recommends cooking the onion in the oil until it is golden brown, about 10 minutes, before adding the onion and oil to the pot. He says cooking the onion will give it a “roasty flavor reminiscent of what you’d find from pork fat”. There’s no need to cook the onions if you’re using bacon grease or lard.

1 pound (about 2½ cups) dry black beans

3 tablespoons bacon grease (can substitute lard or oil)

1 medium white onion, diced (about 1 cup of diced onion)

1 large sprig epazote (optional)

2 quarts water

1½ teaspoons salt


1.   Check the beans for rocks and rinse thoroughly. Add them to the slow cooker.

2.   Add the bacon grease, onion, and epazote, if using, to the slow cooker.

3.   Pour in the 2 quarts of water and stir in the salt. Remove and discard any beans that are floating.

4.   Cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.

5.   Serve in a bowl with some of the broth.