Dried beans in bowl and wooden spoon
Always Brine Your Beans Before Adding Them To Stew
If the beans for your stew never seem to have the right texture or feel as though they are lacking something, brine them in a salt solution before cooking.
Brining your beans before cooking produces tender, creamy, and more digestible beans. Essentially, the salt breaks down the pectin in the skins and outer layers of the beans.
This allows the beans to absorb more water while maintaining their shape, resulting in softened beans that take much less time to cook.
When dried beans go straight into a hot stew, the outsides can overcook before the insides are done. Brining helps hydrate the beans from the inside out, so they cook more evenly.
Start with no more than 1½ tablespoons of table salt per 4 quarts of water per pound of beans. Let the beans brine for 8-12 hours before rinsing them and adding to your stew.