Mexican Black Beans
This was my first attempt at homemade black beans. All these years I had been buying canned black beans. They are cheap and they are easy. Just put them in a pan and heat them up. What I didn’t know was that homemade beans taste like heaven. They are time consuming but worth every single second. The leftovers are even better. I found this recipe online and think I will always use this recipe because they were that good. Serve as a side dish with enchiladas. The beans can be topped with grated Monterey Jack cheese, then covered to melt.
  1. The night before you plan to cook (or 10 to 14 hours ahead), soak the beans to reduce cooking time and help them cook more evenly. Empty the dry beans in a bowl. Pick through the beans and discard any shriveled or unappealing beans. Cover the beans with a few inches of water and leave them on the counter.
  2. Drain the soaked beans: The next day, the beans will have absorbed much of the water and nearly doubled in size. Drain the beans from their soaking water and rinse them gently under water.
  3. Transfer beans to a cooking pot: Transfer the beans to a Dutch oven or other heavy cooking pot. Bring the beans to a boil: Cover the beans with an inch of water above the beans. Bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a low simmer and cook. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and bring the beans to a very gentle simmer. You should barely see the water moving. Leave the lid off for firm beans meant for cold salads and pasta dishes. Cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar for creamier beans for soups, casseroles, and burritos.
  4. Check the beans after an hour: Cook the beans for one hour, and then begin checking for doneness. Depending on their age, size, and variety, beans can take anywhere from an hour to three hours to cook through. Be patient. Keep the beans at a gentle simmer and taste frequently as they start to become tender. Add more water as needed to keep the beans submerged, and stir occasionally. When they are done, you can add in your desired amount of salt or do the next steps instead. You can also put the water and beans in a Tupperware and store the day ahead before doing the next steps.
  5. Optional next steps would be to add in your aromas. I drain all the water from the beans and set aside.
  6. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, chili and cumin and sauté 30 seconds.
  7. Add beans and broth and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Coarsely mash beans with potato masher or leave them whole.
  9. Continue boiling until thick, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with lime juice, salt and pepper.
  10. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.