I’ve grown to love black beans over the last few years. Admittedly, I think Chipotle had something to do with that, but either way, that restaurant chain helped my develop my palate a little bit for beans and now I am a fan. Cooking them at home is far better and healthier.
These beans are excellent for rice and beans, or easily turned into bean soup, or rolled up in a tortilla with some cheese and salsa for a quick burrito if you so desire. Of course if you are vegetarian, replace the bacon for 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and a teaspoon of kosher salt. If you are in the midst of LEAP therapy, then use your substitution cheat sheet to work around any sensitivities you may have otherwise.
If black beans are an issue or you prefer another bean, this recipe is great for dried pinto beans, dried black-eyed peas, and dried small red beans (not kidney beans). These beans require about the same amount of cooking time so are fairly interchangeable.
Makes about 6 cups of cooked black beans
In a large stockpot, cook about 4 to 6 slices of bacon over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the fat is rendered from it, about 5 minutes. Add 2 medium yellow onions, chopped. Sauce them until they are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add 6 cloves of minced garlic and sauce until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add a pound of dried black beans to the pot, tossing with the other ingredients to coat. Add 7 to 8 cups of water and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours, or until the beans reach the desired consistency. Check the pot from time to time and add more water if necessary. The beans will absorb more water as they stand after cooking, so you need not be concerned with boiling off the water, but rather with softening the beans to the desired tenderness.
Once the beans are cooked to your satisfaction, add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons of gluten-free soy sauce. Cooke uncovered for 3 to 5 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Enjoy!