I started making black beans while living in Africa. Which seems odd because black beans are not native there. We knew a couple that had started farming them and they were all the rage in the expat (people living overseas) community. Simon is Tanzanian and his wife Tara is American, and together they created quite a buzz in our small town over access to coveted black beans. I had honestly never cooked with dried black beans, but quickly learned so I could bring our tacos to new levels. I even threw a few out of our kitchen window and got my own crop of magical beans!
I started by making the Pioneer Woman’s black bean recipes, because I felt like something of a pioneer woman myself. It has since morphed into something new.
Since moving back to America I wanted to experiment with tomatillos and found the sweet and charred flavor when roasted with onion and garlic to add something creamy and sweet to the dish!
As always, I believe the more the merrier when it comes to vegetables, so I will throw in carrots and zucchini if I have it. Because, WHY NOT?!
This is not a quick + easy recipe. This one takes time. There is roasting, blending, soaking, chopping. But you are making a pot of something wonderful from scratch. It is rich in nutrients + filling to boot. PLUS It is delicious and makes a huge batch. I often freeze a good portion so I can have on a week I don't have time to make it.
Check out my serving suggestions at the bottom to see how we use it. I will use them as a side for any taco night, serve with rice as its very own entree, or lately have been serving as the main filling for vegetarian tacos. No matter which way you decide to enjoy these I would suggest topping with some shredded sharp cheddar cheese, guacamole + Tapatio hot sauce. I am not opposed to tortilla chips being involved either, because what in the world is more delicious than tortilla chips?
Give it a try + enjoy it as much as we do!
1 1/2 yellow onion
4 small garlic
2 Cups dried black beans (1 lb)
4 Cups Chicken Broth (use Vegetable to make vegan)
(alternatively you can use 2 cups of Trader Joe’s frozen Bell Pepper mix!)
1 Bay Leaf
2 tsp Cumin
1 1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Salt
-First, soak your beans overnight OR you can do a quick soak (which I often do because I forget).
-To quick soak: rinse and drain your beans in cool water. Cover in water + bring to a boil, letting it get to a rolling boil for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover + let them sit for 1 hour. After 1 hour, drain your beans and rinse in cool water. Now they are ready to use!
-Let’s start the party by roasting our tomatillos, garlic and onion.
-Preheat your oven to 420 degrees.
- Slice your tomatillos in half, slice your onion into thick chunks and peel the garlic. Place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, lightly salt and pepper.
- Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until lightly brown and bubbly.
-Take the tomatillos out of the oven and plop into a blender (don’t forget to get all the juices off the baking sheet in there too!). Blend until smooth.
- In a medium/large pot ( i use my cast iron dutch oven), place soaked beans, chicken broth, bell peppers, carrots, and zucchini.
- Bring to a boil, then turn down to a low simmer. Stir in Blended tomatillo mix.
- Cover and let simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
- Add in the spices and bay leaf, stir + let simmer for another hour. (do not salt before tasting the beans to make sure they have softened some, as this can prevent them from softening!)
- YOU’RE DONE. Enjoy these however you like or with some of my recommended uses!
- As a side for tacos
- As the “meat” for vegetarian tacos
- Over rice with shredded cheese, avocado + some Tapatio hot sauce
- You could serve as a dipping side with salsa or queso for tortilla chips at a party!
- With eggs for a breakfast or brunch