My love affair with black beans started a while back. We started off buying tins, which thankfully are definitely becoming much more widely available and easier to find. Then bought a packet of dried black beans a while back (and actually sprouted and grew some in our garden). They were starting to stare at me from the pantry shelf, so I finally decided to have a go at cooking them from dried – wow, I really think they are even better – texture and flavour just great, totally worth the effort to make.
There are a variety of ways to go about cooking your dried black beans but I decided to go with soak + stove top to start with. I’ll hopefully soon be adding slow cooker and pressure cooker options for you too.
Once cooked and cooled I divide the beans into 4 x roughly 250g portions to freeze, this is equivalent to a drained tin of black beans.
- 500 g dried black beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 heaped teaspoon crushed garlic
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 6 ½ cups water, plus extra for soaking
- 2 teaspoons salt
Rinse the dried black beans well. Transfer them to the heavy-based pot you’ll cook them in, cover with water (about 5 cm over the beans) and leave overnight.
The next day, drain the beans and rinse with fresh water. Set aside.
In your pot, heat the olive oil, add the onion and sauté for a few minutes until softened.
Add the beans, garlic, cumin, bay leaves, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the beans are nearly tender, about 1¼ to 1½ hours.
Add the salt and continue to cook for another 15 minutes or so, until tender (but not mushy).
Remove from heat, drain and remove the bay leaves and enjoy. Alternatively, divide the beans into 4 x roughly 250g portions to freeze - this is equivalent to a drained tin of black beans.