These nutritious and filling Brazilian black beans are a cooked with onions and garlic and seasoned perfectly with coriander, cumin, and oregano. What’s not to love?
Brazilian Black Beans
Remember how last week I posted a recipe for Brazilian style white rice? Well, man cannot live on
bread rice alone. (I hope it’s not blasphemous to quote the scriptures this way.) Seriously though, rice & beans is a staple for millions and millions of people around the world and for good reason. It’s delicious! And together they make a complete protein so they are super nutritious and filling too! I could eat rice & beans every.single.day. and I’m not even kidding. I spent a good part of my life doing pretty much just that when I was serving as a missionary for my church and ate whatever was served to me, which was often rice and beans (although Haitian style rather than Brazilian black beans like I’m sharing here – my favorite Haitian version will come in time because they are quite different but also ridiculously delicious).
Now, you could make these beans using canned black beans. But dry beans are typically 1/2 to 2/3 the cost of canned beans, so you can save quite a bit of dinheiro using the dried variety. The only catch is that unlike canned beans, dry beans need to be soaked overnight before cooking them. Or you could make them using a pressure cooker and speed up the process, but unfortunately, I don’t have one (or the room to store one!). So today I want to share with you a secret to using dry beans that is perfect for somebody like me, who never, ever remembers to start soaking the beans the night before. It only takes an hour and starts the softening process so that the beans will cook more quickly and evenly. And during that soaking time, you can be working on preparing the rest of your meal, so really this is kind of a perfect and economical solution. Plus, it’s just really satisfying to use dry beans, you know?
So here’s what you do. First dump your bag of dry beans into a colander and rinse them well, looking for little rocks or debris. Honestly? I’ve never found anything. But I see this advice every time I ever read anything having to do with dry beans so I figure it must be important, right? Then you dump the rinsed beans into a pot big enough to hold your beans and enough water to cover them with a full 2 inches of water. (Incidentally, this method works regardless of whether you are doing a small or large amount of beans). Stick the pot on the stove over high heat and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for 1 minute before removing the pot from the heat and sticking a lid on it. After that, you just let the beans soak for an hour, then drain and rinse and you are ready to go! Easy-peasy!
Once your beans are soaked, drained and rinsed, they go back in the pot and cook for about an hour. Towards the end of the cooking process, you saute onions and garlic in a little oil, and then mix in the soaked and cooked beans and some of my favorite spices that are commonly used in latin dishes (cumin! coriander! oregano! where would I be without you?!), and voila, you have fantastic Brazilian black beans to serve with rice as a simple lunch, or as a side with some delicious grilled chicken and avocado (sooooo good). Or you can make extra to use in enchiladas or fajitas or salads later in the week.
- 1 lb. dry black beans
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2/3 cup diced onion
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
Quick-soaking the beans
- Pour the dry black beans into a colander and rinse with cool water, looking for small rocks or debris. Transfer to a large pot and add enough water to cover the beans with 2 inches of water.
- Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Allow the water to boil for 1 minute, then turn off the heat and cover the pot with a lid. Let the beans soak for 1 hour, at which point they won't be cooked but will be at the same point as if you had soaked them overnight (which I never remember to do). Drain the beans and rinse well in a colander before using them in your recipe.
Cooking the beans
- In your large pot, combine the drained and rinsed soaked beans with the chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 60-90 minutes, until beans are almost completely cooked. Mine have always been closer to the 60 minute mark, but if the beans are older they might take a little longer to cook.
- When the beans are getting close to being done, heat the oil in a separate pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and saute for 3-5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic in the last 30 seconds, stirring to keep it from burning. Add the cooked onions and garlic to the black beans cooked in chicken broth (do not drain), along with the remaining spices and salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Simmer for another 10-15 minutes, until beans are tender, then use the back of your stirring spoon to mash some of the beans against the side of the pot to thicken the mixture just a bit and create a sort of gravy. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed, before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207 Sodium: 2613mg Carbohydrates: 31g Fiber: 10g Sugar: 1g Protein: 11g