Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mexican stewed black beans

The first of a series of posts about one of my favourite 'cuisines' (Mexican), stewed black beans are the perfect answer to our miserable and unrelenting winter. We don't have many real options in Dublin when it comes to Mexican food, so we have to learn how to make it ourselves...as a matter of urgency. The ingredients for this version are easy to find and simple to prepare, and the results are molten, spicy, warming Mexican shamazballness...get in!


3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small onion, chopped
2 serrano or jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (add 1 if you like less heat, or an extra 1-2 Thai chillies if your other peppers aren't hot enough- which sometimes happens with the peppers we buy here)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
250 ml chicken stock
Juice of 1 lime
400g tinned black beans in salt water (not drained or rinced)
Half a square of Lindt 90% cocoa solid chocolate (optional, but highly recommended)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

To serve

Fresh tomato, diced
Iceberg lettuce, shredded
Bunch fresh coriander, leaves picked
Red cheddar, grated
Sour cream
Your choice of rice (or other starch)  


1. Sautée (fry) onion, garlic and chillies in olive oil in a non-stick pan for about a minute, without colouring. Add the spices and sautée for a couple of minutes more until their powdery-ness has been cooked out.

2. Add the tin of black beans and mix through. Add the lime juice and chicken stock, bring to the boil and then simmer until the mix has reduced by half.

3. Once it's reached the desired consistency (thick in soupy) - which can be helped by stirring and crushing the beans up a bit - add the chocolate and stir in until it's melted completely. Taste and season with salt and black pepper as you like.

4. To serve, spoon rice (or you could use mashed spud, polenta, nachos, tortilla...whatever you'd like) into the bottom of a bowl, spoon the beans over that and top with grated cheddar, sour cream, the diced tomato and lettuce, and fresh coriander.


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