Dried beans are a favorite pantry staple in winter, and nearly any variety will work well in this recipe; some alternatives to black beans include navy beans, cannellini beans or red beans. If you like, garnish with sour cream and chopped fresh cilantro.
Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma.com
- 2 1/4 cups dried black beans
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 yellow onions, chopped
- 2 fresh serrano or jalapeño chili peppers, seeded and minced
- 5 large garlic cloves, minced
- 6 tablespoons chili powder
- 3 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup coarsely grated Monterey jack cheese
- 1 Pick over the beans and discard any damaged beans and stones. Rinse the beans. Place in a bowl and add water to cover generously. Let stand for about 3 hours. Drain the beans and set aside.
- 2 In a large, heavy saucepan over low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and chili peppers and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes.
- 3 Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, cayenne and oregano and sauté, stirring, for 2 minutes more.
- 4 Add the beans, tomatoes and water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- 5 Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are very tender and have begun to fall apart, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Add water if the beans begin to dry out but are not yet cooked.
- 6 Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into warmed bowls, sprinkle with the cheese and serve immediately.