The Sensitive Kitchen

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Smoky Mexican Black Beans

I make these all the time, in a variety of ways, as you will see when you read the directions. This recipe makes 4 to 5 cups of cooked beans.

2 c dried black beans
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 c chopped yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp smoked paprika
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt, or to taste

Soak the black beans in triple their volume of water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain beans; discard soaking water and set beans aside. (If you are in a hurry, you can bring them to a boil, then remove from heat and let stand covered for 1 hour, then proceed as written. If you don't soak them, just cook them longer, up to double the indicated time, and prepare to feel a bit gassy.)

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a skillet (if using crock-pot) or a pressure cooker or large pot (if using stovetop). Add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown. Add spices. Cook and stir for a couple of minutes, until fragrant.

If making on stovetop, add soaked beans and bay leaf. Add water just to cover, stirring well. Cook for 90 minutes, covered, or 18 minutes at high pressure in a pressure cooker (natural release).

If making in crock-pot, scrape onion-garlic-spice mixture into bottom of crock-pot. Rinse/scrape skillet well and add this water with all its flavorful bits to crock-pot, then add black beans and bay leaf. Pour water in at least 1" over top of beans and cook 4-5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.

Salt beans to taste. Remove beans to a heat-tolerant storage container (I use a large slotted spoon) and cook liquid down until slightly thickened. Pour over beans, stirring well to coat beans with liquid. Refrigerate everything overnight, then reheat and serve... because beans are always better the next day.

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