Pot of Local Black Beans and Company

Real meal.

Black beans are a popular favorite in my kitchen. Velvety soft with a deep savory flavor that stands in for meat. Once the beans are ready they are happy on a plate with other foods including eggs, rice, pork or chicken, sweet potatoes, corn bread, kale or chard, and many more mid-autumn and winter favorites. I buy mine from Cayuga Farms, which has a stand at Wednesday's Union Square Farmer's Market. Get them in bulk, make fewer trips, and take benefit of Cayuga's price breaks.

Pot of Local Black Beans and Company

1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 tblsp olive oil
12 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped, divided
2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped, divided
2 cups dried black beans, rinsed
2 qt water
1 bottle of beer (you can even use a local one, I use Brooklyn Larger!)
1 tsp plus 1 tblsp chili powder
1/2 tsp sriracha (chili paste), optional
1/2 cup olive oil
4 large leaves of kale, sliced into ribbons
salt and pepper

Saute the onion in 2 tblsp olive oil until transparent in a large stock pot over medium. Add half of the garlic and half of the tomato. Cook until tomatoes become shaggy and are falling apart. Add the black beans, water, half of the bottle of beer, and 1 tsp chili powder. Cook for 1 1/2 hours until the beans are mostly tender. Add the rest of the garlic, tomatoes, beer, 1 tblsp chili powder, 1/2 cup olive oil, and sriracha. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 30-45 minutes until beans are very tender. Add the kale and cook for 3 minutes until kale is just beginning to wilt. Serve!

-- many (or every) recipe suggests that you pre-soak your beans overnight, or to boil and cool the beans before preparing to speed cooking. This may be so, but I say cook 'em up and save a step.
-- adding half of the flavorful ingredients in the beginning and at the end adds layers to the ultimate taste.
-- I only recently read that adding salt to your bean cooking water makes them tough. Adding salt near the end really improved my beans, a break through!


  1. hey ...this looks really good. i'm going to try your recipe. i might saute the tiniest amount of pancetta in with the onions - because my theory is that everything is better with pancetta - but we're not adverse to meat products. i'm going to make this and serve it over brown basmatti rice next week. thanks for the great idea.
    bean (ha ha...i know...no relation to your black bean recipe! - more from the 'beany and cecil' era)

  2. Thanks for the recipe! I am always on the lookout for something new!

    Great blog!

  3. Thank you for the recipe! I made this last night and ended up adding a lone bell pepper that needed to be used as well as some apple juice at the end. It turned out great.


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