Borlotti bean fail...suggestions?

Had some fabulous looking dried borlotti beans from Rancho Gordo (I put them in BigMan's xmas stocking!) and decided to make cowboy beans. I soaked those bad boys overnight and then put them in the crockpot for about 8 hours with all the cowboy fixings.

Hard as a rock--and they had been bubbling for ages in the liquid. Put them back in the crockpot overnight and still not so great.

Are they just terrifically meaty beans or should I have boiled the stuffing out of them before putting them in the crockpot?

BTW nasty, ickylooking and ruined today. Suggestions for next time as we just love cowboy beans from a restaurant we visit every year in CA....

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