I came across an article by Russ Parsons at the L.A. Times revisiting a (much) earlier article he’d written about the simplest, easiest, and tastiest way to prepare dried beans; no overnight soak was needed. I had a pound of black beans in the back of the pantry, and thought this would be the perfect chance to test the method out.
Note: this recipe is for making basic beans (black, red, pea, whatever) to enjoy as is, or take to the next level (baked, in chili, refried).
Heat your oven to 350º and rinse and pick over your beans.
Transfer the beans to a Dutch oven (cast iron works a treat for this) and add the salt, onion, garlic, and salt pork (or dried ‘shrooms and paprika – mebbe a couple of ounces of dried ‘shrooms and one teaspoon of paprika per pound of beans).
Pour boiling water over to cover the beans, then pop the lid on the Dutch oven and bake until the beans are tender – mine took about ninety minutes – checking to see if you need to add additional water every twenty minutes or so.
That’s all there is to it! My black beans turned out tender and quite flavorful – tho’ they did turn the salt pork a kindof unappetizing shade of black.
I enjoyed some plain the first night, topped with some leftover stew from the freezer and a bit of shredded cheese and diced onion; but saved most of them for another couple of projects, where they were also just about perfect.
Details on those projects, chicken enchilada chili and barbecue chopped salad, will be comin’ up later this week, so now would be a good time to toss a pot o’ beans together, don’t you think?