Sunday, June 6, 2010

Very Versitile Black Bean Stew

You might also call this black bean chili (this recipe was inspired by Deborah Madison's Black Bean Chili). Whatever you call it, there is no doubt it is good stuff! Beans are undoubtedly my favorite source of protein, and black beans are one of my favorite beans. They are incredibly nutritious and affordable - what's not to love! This stew is one of my favorite ways to prepare black beans. It is great on its own with a nice chunk of cornbread, served over brown rice, mixed with some diced roasted sweet potatoes (my favorite - served this way in the picture), or used as a filling for black bean enchiladas or tacos. YUMMY!

Side note: Dried beans take a little while to cook (of course), but they are much cheaper and healthier (no unnecessary sodium or BPA!) than canned. I generally maintain a "whole foods" diet - meaning I eat NOTHING prepackaged, only home cooked. Canned beans are the one "pre-packaged food" I do buy, mainly because I love the convenience of using canned beans for salads. I've been trying to kick my canned beans addition; however, by cooking a bunch of dried each week and using them for various recipes throughout the week. So, if you are a bean lover like me I encourage you to do the same - you can try my black bean mango salad with your extra beans. Black beans and roasted corn are also a delicious combination.

And now for the recipe:
1.5 Cups Dried Black Beans, soaked overnight (Note: I soaked 3 cups, but only used about half for this recipe, I cooked the other half in a separate pot to use in other recipes this week)
2 Bay Leaves
2 Medium Onions, diced
1 Bell Pepper, seeded and diced (I typically include this, but didn't this time because I didn't have any in my fridge!)
3 teaspoons Cumin (preferably cumin seeds that have been toasted and then ground)
2 teaspoons Oregano
1 Tablespoon of Chili Powder (I used a combination of ground ancho and guajillo chili which I bought at a Mexican grocery store)
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon (may sound weird, but absolutely essential)
1 teaspoon of Sea Salt, plus more to taste as needed
4 Garlic Cloves, diced
2 Medium Roma Tomatoes, diced
1 Tablespoon of Chipotles in Adobo Sauce, plus more to taste if you like
Large handful of Cilantro, chopped

1) Drain black beans, rinse them, place them a large pot, cover with fresh water.
Bring the beans, along with the bay leaves, to a simmer over low heat. (Note: You only want the water to cover the beans by about an inch so you end up with a thick stew, not a soup - you can always add more water later if you need to).

2) Meanwhile - coat a large skillet with a little olive oil and saute the onions and bell pepper until the onions are translucent - add the spices and garlic and saute another 10 minutes over low heat (it will smell heavenly!). Add the tomatoes and chipotle and cook another 10 minutes over low heat.

3) Add the spicy onion/tomato mixture to the pot of beans. Simmer over low heat for 1.5 hours or until the beans are very tender - add a little more water if needed to cook the beans thoroughly, but remember we want a thick stew so don't go crazy!

4) Just before serving stir in the cilantro! Enjoy!

As usual, I've included this recipe as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Slightly Induglent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays and Tuesdays at the Table. Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!


  1. This sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing your recipe and linking to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

  2. I am so excited that you brought your wonderful Black Bean Stew to the Texas Star Chili Cook Off at The Cottage. We are going to have so much fun!
    Thanks for coming over.