Drain and rinse the beans and combine with 3 quarts water or enough to cover the beans by 2 inches and add the bay leaves. Bring to a boil, simmer. After 1 hour add the chilies, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking 2 to 3 more hours until beans are soft, but not falling apart. Serve the beans in their liquid.
Recipe courtesy of Janos Wilder, Janos, Tucson, AZ