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A Year of Slow Cooking

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans Recipe

I've perfected black beans. Which is a good thing, since Safeway had a buy-one-get-one-free deal and I still have 5 unopened bags in the cupboard.

side note: the kids and I are *fascinated* by that Extreme Couponing show--- holy cow! What are they going to do with 84 boxes of Captain Crunch?


It's summer, and I have fully embraced the "I don't want to do anything" vibe that summer gives off. We're staying up too late, sleeping in, watching mindless television, (Wipe Out? really? who comes up with these things?) and sometimes forgetting personal hygiene. 

you know, typical summer time stuff....

but yesterday I wanted to have something to show for myself, so I got up early and plugged in the crockpot. 

and then went back to bed. 

The Ingredients.
serves 8-10 as a side dish

1 pound black beans, soaked overnight, then drained
(if you don't have time to soak overnight, no problem. Put them in a large pot, and cover completely with water. Bring to a rapid boil for 10 minutes, then turn off stove and cover pot. Let your beans sit for 1 hour, then drain water and put beans into crockpot)

6 cups chicken broth (if vegetarian, use veggie broth; I'm concerned water won't provide enough flavor)
6 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, or 2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder

The Directions.

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Soak your beans overnight and drain (or use quick soaking method described above). 
I've heard that you should water your outside plants with the bean water, but I've never done so--- I really should give that a try.

Put the drained beans into your slow cooker, then add the chopped garlic, broth, tomatoes, cumin, and chili powder. Stir well to combine.

I used bouillon cubes for my broth. If you're on a low-sodium diet, you may want to use low-sodium broth, or only use 5 cups and then 1 cup of water--- I've been cutting out salt and these beans tasted salty to me, but Adam and the kids thought they just tasted "good"--- 

cover and cook on low for 8 hours. If you live in a high altitude area, you may need to cook for longer. We're at sea level and my beans were perfect at 8 hours.

The Verdict.

Everyone in my house loved these--- I ate them alone, but Adam and the kids had them alongside quesadillas and rice. The baby had 3 servings (small plastic bowls) and then painted the highchair with bean goop.

The seasoning is fantastic--- the cumin and chili powder complement each other nicely and I liked the bits of tomato and garlic. If you want some heat, opt for a can of tomatoes and chiles (Rotel)-- there is no heat here, just flavor.

This morning, the beans have soaked in more of the liquid, but taste marvelous, even cold. If you'd like to freeze in batches, be aware that the beans will break down a bit-- no biggie, unless you'd like them picture-perfect.

would pair well with:
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lollingabout said...

Yum! I love anything even slightly Mexican, and this is so easy! I might have to make some this weekend for fajitas or something.

Karen said...

LOVE blackbeans! We do something similar, but with rice:

1 cup white rice, uncooked
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 can tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups water

Dump the rice in the bottom of the crockpot. Add olive oil, and stir to combine. Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir. Cook for 2-3 hours.

This freezes beautifully. We serve it on tortillas with salsa.

Heather of Kitchen Concoctions said...

Ahhh the lazy days of summer! Good thing crock-pot cooking lets us continue to be lazy! These beans sound like the perfect side to any Mexican dinner night.

gfe--gluten free easily said...

These beans sound terrific, Steph! This sounds like the perfect dish to make for one of my support group meetings, too. :-) Thank you, now go back to mindless tv, sleeping, etc. ;-) So glad you are enjoying summer with your family!


Karen said...

I made the best black beans the other day too! So cheap and so yummy. Here is my recipe.
But I was thinking I should have added cumin, maybe.

Caneel said...

I'm glad you've perfected black beans, because I'll be trying this! :)

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

I could eat this for dinner for a week! I love mexican black beans, I've yet to do it in the slow cooker though, thanks!

Little Ol' Liz said...

I think the only thing missing is a Bay Leaf or two. It's one of those things that gives an extra "bump" to the final flavor when you have it without being obnoxious.

If you have access to a Penzey's Spice (or go online) a capful of their Arizona Dreaming blend is a one-two punch in black or pinto beans.


Why Just Eat said...

Yum! That looks fantastic!

NYCitified said...

I am also completely fascinated by Extreme Couponing. I'm confused on how they manage to count the items when they're just dumping them in the grocery cart by the case. Also, we think Extreme Couponing should team up with Hoarders....I suspect some cross contamination!

Theresa said...

Ooooh yea! Beans are like my favorite thing on earth, especially black ones. I'm all into sneaking them into pretty much anything I can. And you can bet your beans, I make black bean brownies and giggle as everyone gobbles them down! I can't wait to try this!

Gill said...

I am definitely going to make this! Fab stuff. Just wanted to say, too, that my husband and I use your recipes ALL the time, so thank you! :)

Shari said...

Would I need to make any adjustments to double this? I was thinking of having half frozen and eating the rest for dinner one night!

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Shari,

you might need two pots--- unless you've got an 8quart or something like that. My six quart was pretty full after the beans swelled.

Mary said...

Stephanie, these really sound delicious. This is my first visit to your blog and I've spent some time browsing through your earlier entries. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you feature here. I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

naturallyk said...

Thanks! I have been thinking of making my own since canned beans have so much sodium so this is right on time!

JoJo said...

I made these last night - they took about 10 hours at low. Maybe next time I'll start them off on high for a couple hours. Dang tasty though. This one is definitely a keeper.

Beth said...

Don't the tomatoes prevent the beans from cooking? Every time I've tried adding them to dried beans the beans never soften. Am I doing something wrong?

This looks incredibly delicious! So up my alley as I am the Bean Queen. :)

Tina said...

No joke, I came here planning to search your archives for a good black bean recipe only to find you have one as your newest post! Good timing, you haz it!;) Sounds fabulous, I will be trying it this weekend!

miri leigh said...

Great summer side dish! Thanks for posting!

Tiff said...

Thanks for this! I'd love to start buying more dried beans, but I'm too lazy to soak/cook them most of the time. This sounds like the perfect fix.

Alysha said...

I'm super intimidated by cooking beans (not from a can). This recipe seems very doable. Thanks for posting!

-Alysha @ShesOnTheRun

M said...

Completely not related to black beans: thank you for the google search option for your website! I use your recipes all the time and it's nice to be able to quickly locate an item without pouring through the indexes, sometimes without any luck. Thank you! Thank you!!

Carolyn said...

These are good. My daughter said that we should eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner! We have a keeper with this recipe!

DesertHen said...

These beans ROCKED! I made them last week and plan on making them again this week!

Amanda said...

I just made these yesterday and they are SO DELCIOUS!! I am preparing for my once a month cooking and saw that I had a couple recipes that called for black beans...10 cans to be exact! They are $0.57 a can at our local store but I knew that I already had a bag of unopened dry black beans and the other ingredients. I figured it'd be worth a try before I put canned black beans on my shopping list. My entire had a bowl of these as a snack mid-day to test them and EVERYONE loved them!!! The flavor is PERFECT!

I did the quick soak for my beans. Then put them into the crockpot as directed and all the ingredients. I cooked my beans on high for 6 hours then on low for 3 hours and they are SOFT and DELICOUS!

artsysimone said...

I am, at this very moment, in the process of preparing this recipe using the quick soaking method.

I did a few things differently:

1. I eased up on the garlic (my boyfriend loathes the smell of garlic in the apartment, so I only used 2 cloves and a dash of garlic powder),

2. I added 2 dried chipotle peppers, just because I happened to have some and I read in a separate recipe that they give the broth a kick and make it taste meaty and rich *crosses fingers*.

3. Because I'm a vegan, I used McCormack's chicken flavoured bouillon (it's used without animal products), and,

4. Instead of using canned or raw tomatoes, I cut 3 HUGE tomatoes in half, sprinkled them with a bit of Hawaiian clay salt & olive oil and roasted them at about 250-300F in the oven for an hour and a half (I could probably have gone a few hours longer on a lower heat setting, as they blacken slightly and have the consistency of tomato paste and the flavour is AMAZING). When they're done, I'm going to chop them up and add them to the liquid mixture (along with the oil and liquid run off from the tomatoes).

I'll let you know if my slight differences are for the better or for worse. LOL! :) Up until a couple of months ago, I used to live on a diet of convenience foods (like Kraft Macaroni & Cheese) and popcorn. LOL! I'm still learning and experimenting. :)

Thank you for this wonderful website, I am a new vegan and am getting tired of the weird rubbery taste of canned beans (the smell when you first open them remind me of dog food, so I rinse them really well). I had no idea you could put dried beans straight into the slow cooker with minimal preparation like this. :)

rojopenguin said...

Well currently trying this out for half of my beans that I started this morning. However made a couple of additions for it.

I got some sweet white corn, an orange bell pepper, minced garlic, yellow and red onion and minced everything I could. I sauteed it in butter with some green chiles, salt, chile powder, and a dash of cayene. It is currently sitting in my crockpot with the chicken broth waiting for the beans. Excited to see how this turns out tonight. Thanks for all the awesome recipies!

Lauren Strine said...

I'm curious, do you think I could add rice (plus proper amount of water) in for the last 2 hours of the beans cooking? I like the idea of not having to dirty up the rice cooker and the slow cooker when making burritos!

Stephanie O'Dea said...

I like that idea, too, Lauren!! There will be accumulated liquid in the bottom of the crock so I'm not sure how much extra liquid you'll need for rice. I'd love to hear your results if you give it a try!!

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