1 lb black beans
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (or bacon drippings)
1 medium onion, cut into large dice
2 Tbsp dried epazote, or 2 sprigs fresh
1-2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
Check through the beans and remove any stones. Place in a large bowl, cover by at least two inches with cold water, and let soak overnight.
To cook, drain the beans and add them to a large stock pot with oil, onion and epazote. Add 2-1/2 quarts of water (you can substitute part vegetable or chicken stock, if you wish), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook, partially covered, until the beans are tender, 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours, depending on the freshness of the beans. Skim off foam as necessary during the early part of the cooking process. Add water if the mixture becomes too thick. When the beans are tender, add 1 tsp salt and simmer for a few minutes. Then, add more salt to taste. If using fresh epazote, remove the sprig before serving.