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- Sort and wash beans, discarding shrivelled or cracked ones; soak overnight in cold water.
- Drain beans discarding the water, rinse under running tap water and place in a soup pot with 12 cups water.
- Peel garlic cloves (do not chop) and coarsely chop the cilantro (stems too).
- Add salt, garlic, oregano and cilantro to beans and bring to boil.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 or more hours (preferably 3–4 hours).
- Remove garlic cloves.
- Drain and serve (or use in Gallo Pinto, Sopa Negra, mashed in sandwiches etc. Save the cooling water if making Sopa Negra).