Black Beans and Rice

Everybody goes crazy for this. It has a light smoky taste and tons of flavor, without being overly spicy. The beans and rice form a complete protein, so no meat is actually necessary, although the bacon really does add a nice flavor.

It’s cheap, healthy and yummy, which is a really hard-to-beat combination.

Note: If you don’t have smoked Paprika, you can substitute regular Paprika and a 1/4t liquid smoke.

Ingredients:
1.5 Lbs Dried Black Beans
8 Ounces Smoked, Uncured Bacon (optional) or
2 T Vegetable Oil
3/4 C Onion, minced
3/4 C Celery, finely chopped
1/2 C Carrot, finely chopped
1/4 C Green Bell Pepper, finely chopped
2 T Garlic, minced
1/2 t Salt
2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
1 3/4 T Smoked Paprika
1 3/4 t Oregano
1 3/4 t Cayenne Pepper
1 t Cumin
1 t Garlic Powder
4 C Low Sodium Chicken Stock
8 Ounces Shredded Monterey Jack/Cheddar Cheese Blend
1/4 C Finely Sliced Scallions
1 1/2 C Long Grain White Rice

Directions:

  • Pour the beans out on to a sheet pan, examine and remove anything that isn’t a bean, then rinse.
  • Add to large pot of hot water and bring to a boil
  • Boil covered 2 minutes
  • Let sit covered for one hour, drain, rinse place in a bowl and set aside. Dry pot.
  • If using bacon, slowly cook bacon until the fat is rendered out, the bacon is crisp and there is a good layer of brown stuff (fond) on the bottom of the pot.
  • Remove the bacon, dry on paper towels and save whatever you don’t eat. Drain all the grease from the pot, except for a couple of tablespoons.
  • If using oil instead of bacon, add a couple of tablespoons of oil to the pot. Use bacon fat or oil, not both.
  • Heat pot on medium. Add all the veggies except the garlic to the pot, add the salt and sweat until almost soft. Add the garlic and continue until soft and transparent, but not browned. You may need to reduce the heat to med-low.
  • Add all the spices and stir
  • Add the chicken stock and deglaze the bottom of the pot (scrape up all the brown bits).
  • Add 2/3 of the beans to the pot, and enough water to cover by a couple of inches and stir
  • Cover and place in a 325°F oven overnight.
  • The next day, add the remaining beans and additional water if necessary until it has almost a soup-like consistency. Stir to combine
  • Taste and adjust salt if necessary. If it lacks brightness, add a little more cider vinegar. Return to the oven.
  • Cook until last batch of added beans are soft (approximately another three hours), adding water if necessary.
  • Cook rice according to directions.
  • Serving: Serve in a bowl over rice and garnish with shredded monterey jack/cheddar cheese and some finely Chopped scallions (green onions). If you have managed to not eat all the bacon, you can crumble it over the top.

Note: This will thicken as it cools, as well as when stored in the refrigerator. Don’t be afraid to thin it out with some water, since the texture is very important.

 

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