Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo is a friend and inspiration. I love his beans. This recipe steals a few ingredients from the rich mole sauces of Mexico that exude a delectable smokiness from toasted nuts and dark chocolate. I top it with toasted pumpkin seeds and crumbled cotija cheese. Unless you buy really freshly dried beans they will need to be soaked overnight. —Lori Lyn Narlock
Put the beans in a bowl, cover with water and soak overnight. (If the beans are fresh you can skip this step and cook slightly longer.)
Drain the beans in a colander. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the beans. Cook until tender, about 1 hour.
Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle the cumin and chile powder over the top and stir to coat evenly. Cook until slightly crisped, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring as needed, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and jalapeno and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the beans, stock, and oregano. Bring to a boil. Stir in the cocoa powder and chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide into bowls and top with equal amounts of the pumpkin seeds and the cotija. Serve hot.