Authentic black beans made from scratch and WAY better than anything that comes out of a can! Not that there is anything wrong with beans that way! Just that these are as different as night and day when compared to canned. You could probably save time and use canned beans in place of the dried. Just be sure to rinse very very well. I am finally getting some of my 'secret' (lol) recipes on Zaar. Since I tend to measure in my hand or just add a 'pinch' of this or 'enough' of that it is difficult to post the ones that I make here day in and day out. This is a recipe that I can make probably with my eyes closed! Dark beer is too strongly flavored and Light Beer not strong enough for this so use a regular beer. Dos Equis (XX) or even Budweiser beer works well here. You could also used dried herbs and spices but your mouth will be rewarded if you use fresh. I learned how to cook lots of different authentic Mexican dishes from several different friends over the years. The biggest and best thing I think I learned was do not rub your eyes after handling chilies! lol Wear gloves if you like! Learned that one FAST! I also learned how to make salsa's- NOT what we think of as salsa but rather a sauce or seasoning paste that is used to then season various dishes. Making a blended seasoning paste to add to the beans is a great way to punch up the flavor. After compiling all that knowledge with my 'gueralita' background this is what I came up with. Hope you enjoy too! Oh and plan ahead! The dried beans need to soak!
- 16 ounces dried black beans
- 1 teaspoon baking soda, approximate
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 ounces ancho chilies (can use a mix of guajillo's & ancho's) or 4 ounces chipotle chiles in adobo
- 2 yellow onions
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 large carrots, chopped or 1 large carrot, sliced
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed
- 1⁄4 teaspoon whole cloves, six cloves (optional)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 jalapeno, seeded if desired (2 if you are brave or Texan!)
- 1⁄2 tablespoon oregano or 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil, no need for evoo just plain
- 14 1⁄2 ounces diced tomatoes
- 12 ounces beer
- 15 ounces chicken broth or 15 ounces vegetable broth
- 1⁄2 cup cilantro
- 1 limes, juice and zest of or 2 tablespoons lime juice
- rice, cooked, brown or white (optional)
- Sort and rinse beans. Put beans in a dutch oven and cover with cool water to 3 or 4 inches over the beans. Soak overnight or bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes, remove from heat, cover and 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans and return to dutch oven with fresh water about 2 inches over the beans. Add one onion half with skin, bay leaf and baking soda to the dutch oven containing the beans and water. NO SALT YET! Using high heat bring beans to a boil then lower heat to medium high a and cook 20-25 minutes or until beans are al dente. Remove from the heat completely and season with salt, to taste. Do NOT add salt prior to this as beans will stay tough.
- Meanwhile, make seasoning paste: With scissors, cut stems from chilies and open them down one side to discard seeds and any large membrane. Put chilies in a bowl with very hot water to cover well and weigh down with something to keep them submerged. Soak for at least 15 minutes or until you are ready for them. Skip if using canned chipotles.
- In an oven proof skillet with NO oil or spray add one onion, quartered, and jalapeno. Broil about 5-7 minutes or so until blackened and charred. Remove from pan, remove seeds and stem from jalapeno when cool.
- While cooling toast cumin and coriander seeds In same skillet, wiped clean if needed, just until they begin to release their fragrance.
- Drain chilies and discard soaking water. Toss chilies, toasted seeds, charred onion and jalapeno, garlic, oregano, 1 tsp salt, cumin, coriander, peppercorns, cloves and half of the broth. Blend until smooth, adding a little more broth if needed to get the mixture moving.
- Heat oil in the same skillet until and add puréed mixture, Sounds weird but trust me! Cover with a lid to keep it from splashing and burning you and making a huge mess. Cook 5 -10 minutes or so, until fragrant and slightly thicker. Stir often to keep it from burning and be careful it does not splash on you.
- Drain beans again and remove bay leaf and onion. Add all the paste to the beans along with the beer, rest of broth, tomatoes with their juice, celery, carrot and the remaining onion half, roughly chopped.
- Allow to simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes or so or until the beans are completely done and veggies are tender. You can add a little water, broth or better yet, beer, if you wish.
- Stir in chopped cilantro, lime zest and juice. Taste now and season with more salt if desired. Enjoy!
- Note: You can make this a main dish by tossing in about 1/2 cup rendered chorizo or other sausage or cooked meat if desired or leave vegetarian. Either way this is great over brown rice or even white rice.
- Note: This freezes very well. I pour two cups into a ziploc bag, seal, label and lay flat. Once frozen you can stack them up on top of each other. Then thaw and reheat and serve over rice if desired.