Spread the beans over your counter so you can look for any pebbles or beans that are broken, discolored, or shriveled and remove them.
Place beans in a colander. Rinse thoroughly with cool water for about 3 minutes. This step is not necessary, but your beans will be lighter in color and “mas bonitos” as my Mom says.
Soak the beans in cold water in a covered bowl for 4 to 6 hours before cooking. (I never soak them and they still come out bonitos. I think they come out bonitos when the beans are fresh, so I prefer to be a rebel and skip this step.)
Drain the beans and pour into a large pot. Add enough water to come 3 inches over the beans. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and simmer until the beans are tender, about 3 to 4 hours, adding more hot water as the beans absorb liquid. (Every pot is different so check your beans after 2 hours. Most take 3 to 4 hours but I have a pot I love to cook my beans in because it only takes 2 hours.) Add salt and onions, if using, about 1 hour before cooking is complete.
Refrigerate beans in any liquid left when cooled. Beans can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. The beans can also be frozen in small bowls for later use.
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