Easy, inexpensive, and flavorful are three adjectives that come to mind when I think of these black beans. I typically make these when having carnitas; what we don't eat at the time, I portion into 16-oz tubs and freeze for the next time we have carnitas (or just get a hankering for black beans). The recipe can also be used with pinto beans, which I either leave as whole beans or mash up to have more of a refried beans texture.
1 1-lb bag of dried black beans
3-4 cloves of minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped (and seeded/partially seeded, depending on the amount of heat you want to add to the beans)
~1/4 tsp cumin
~1/8 tsp chipotle powder (or 1 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce--freeze the contents of the rest of the can in a ziplock bag or plastic tub for later use; these are found in the Mexican food section in a small can--I buy LaCostena brand; the peppers are whole so you will want to chop it up)
~6 c water
~1 1/2 tsp salt
1. Rinse the beans in a colander under cold running water; remove any debris or 'bad' looking beans.
2. Add the 6 cups of water to your crock pot and turn on 'high'.
3. Add all of the other ingredients and cook for ~7 hours, or until desired texture/tenderness is reached. If there is more liquid remaining than desired, you can drain some off. Add extra salt or cumin as needed.