I know, I know. Mexican crock pot beans do not sound super exciting. But they should be! Beans are extremely versatile and are a staple in my diet. You can make a bunch at once and then throw em into soups and salads for the rest of the week. This is a large batch so I will freeze some too. Cooking them in the crock pot saves time and simplifies the cooking process. Just put in your beans and seasonings and walk away. This recipe makes for slightly smokey Mexican style beans without the pork fat that is typical of them. You can eat them after 4 1/2 hours on high but I wait another hour because I like my beans fairly dry and very soft. Unless I’m really hungry and have been smelling them cook all day I can usually hold out the full 5 1/2 hours.
If I am able I try to wait until the last hour or two of cooking to add the liquid smoke and epazote to get the full flavor. Don’t worry if you can’t, they’ll still turn out delicious! Plus! If you ask me, adding ingredients after you put the lid on kind of goes against the spirit of crockpot cooking. So don’t fret. You do you.
Epazote is an herb frequently used in Mexican and Central American cooking. In these beans the flavor the epazote imparts reminds me a quite bit of Mexican Oregano. I like it a lot but epazote can be difficult to find. I buy it dried because it lasts longer. Make sure to remove after cooking because the dried stems will not soften. If you can’t find this herb a bay leaf works too. The liquid smoke and temari are important for vegan beans. They infuse depth and body during the long cook time of these Mexican crock pot beans.