From-Scratch (& Super-Easy) Black Beans
adapted from Serious Eats
A recent cold and rainy day had me craving a big pot of something warm and hearty — and healthy, too, of course. I also had a busy day and did not feel like venturing out to the grocery store. So, I turned to a few kitchen staples to make super-easy black beans. I knew by the end of the day I’d have a satisfying meal that my whole family would love.
Like many people, I used to be under the impression that you have to soak dry beans overnight before cooking them. The great news is that you don’t! (as long as you have 8-10 hours to let them cook during the day). I threw mine in at 9am and dinner was ready at 7pm — and for just a few dollars and very minimal effort.
for the beans:
1 lb. dried black beans
1 onion, halved lengthwise
1 orange, halved
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 bay leaves
salt & freshly ground pepper
your choice of toppings:
Rinse the beans well and place in a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Cover with 6 cups of water and add onion, orange, garlic, cumin and bay leaves (you’ll remove the halved onion and orange as well as the bay leaves later).
Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Then uncover and simmer until the beans are soft and the liquid is nearly gone. You’ll know they’re done when the beans are breaking apart in a thick, creamy sauce.
Remove the aromatics and season to taste with salt and pepper, then add your choice of fresh toppings. I find that having a variety of toppings is a family pleaser, since everyone can “build their own bowl” with what they like best.
These beans also freeze well and are even better as leftovers!