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Best Recipes, Soups

Smoky black bean stew

Smoky black bean stew
Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Rich, earthy, hearty — there's nothing quite so reassuring as having a pot of beans simmering in the oven when cool weather comes along. So why don't more people cook them? One of the main reasons is the planning that's ... Read more

Total time: 2 hours | Serves 6 to 8
  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 dried morita chiles or 1 dried chipotle chile
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Crema Mexicana, or sour cream, for garnish
  • Chopped green onions, for garnish
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • Grated cotija cheese, for garnish

Step 1Heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, bring the black beans, water, chiles, onions, garlic and bay leaf to a simmer. Cover tightly and transfer to the oven.

Step 2Cook for 1 hour, then add 1 teaspoon salt and a generous grinding of black pepper and stir to combine. Re-cover the pot and return it to the oven to cook until the beans are tender and creamy, 30 to 45 more minutes.

Step 3Use an immersion blender to coarsely purée the beans just enough to release some of the starch. Alternatively, purée 1 cup of beans in a stand blender and return them to the pot. Heat just until the beans have thickened. (The dish can be prepared to this point several days in advance and refrigerated, tightly sealed.)

Step 4When ready to serve, bring the beans back to a simmer. Add a little more water if they are too thick. Taste and correct seasoning with salt and pepper.

Step 5Ladle the beans into warmed serving bowls and garnish with a spoonful of crema Mexicana, a sprinkling of green onions and cilantro, and grated cotija cheese, with more passed at the table. Serve immediately.


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