Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Best Black Beans

This weekend, in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, I made a handful of Tex-Mex dishes that came out really great. The black bean dish featured below was an absolute hit and now is my go to bean recipe when I make Mexican Food. It really is that good.

It uses a pressure cooker, which I know seems a little scary. I was pretty skeptical when I first tried out my pressure cooker recipe, and now my pressure cooker is my BFF! You can essentially get the same results of slow cooking something for hours with only 20 minutes or so in a pressure cooker. I do this for roasts and stews, as well as any kind of beans I make. Also -- typically pressure cookers  come with a big price tag -- so check out a local thrift store before making the plunge. I got mine for about $7 at the Kiwanis club in Ann Arbor.

And now -- to the deliciousness.

The Best Black Beans

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper chopped
  • jalapeno diced
  • bay leaf
  • 2 cups (about 1 pound) dried black beans picked over and rinsed
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a 6-quart pressure cooker over medium-high heat, pour in 3 tablespoons oil. Add bell pepper, jalapeno and onions and cook about 5 minutes, until all are "sweaty". Throw in the garlic and bay leaf and cook for 1 minute more. Add the beans and give a good stir. Pour in the chicken broth; add the remaining tablespoon of oil, 1 tablespoon of salt, and a couple of grindings of pepper. Following the manufacturer's instructions, cover, lock the lid, and bring to high pressure. Lower heat to maintain pressure and start timing. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Release the steam, again following the manufacturer's directions. If the beans are underdone, simmer them with the lid off until tender. Remove bay leaf and discard.Taste and adjust seasoning.
Cook's note: The oil prevents the beans from foaming and clogging the steam vent of the pressure cooker
I hope you enjoy!
p.s. Of course this is stored in my wonderful Plan to Eat recipe manager. I am on week 7 of using it and I am as addicted as ever.

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