Best Black Beans

Black beans are a central ingredient in many great recipes, but they can also be a delicious dish in their own right.  Being able to make really good, flavorful black beans makes them not only enjoyable on their own, but also boosts the flavor of other dishes in which they are used.  This recipe comes from my Mother, who makes a batch of black beans almost every weekend in the winter.  This is because she can cook them on top of the wood stove.  She simply throws the beans in a pot, with water, puts them on the stove and then goes on to do whatever else she has planned for the day, allowing the beans to cook over low heat for several hours.  While we don’t all have this luxury, these beans are easy to make regardless of what kind of stove you cook them on.

Best Black Beans

1/2 pound black turtle beans
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 cup tomato of some kind (chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, salsa, tomato sauce)*
3 to 4 crushed dehydrated hot peppers or 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
 
  1. Place the beans in a sauce pot, cover with water by about 1/2 inch and let soak over night.
  2. The beans should puff up and absorb most of the water, drain any excess water in the pot.
  3. Add garlic, cover the beans with fresh water by about 1/2 inch and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally, or until beans are tender (you may need to add a bit more water if they get too dry).
  5. Remove from heat, drain any excess water and stir in the remaining ingredients.  Serve warm with a bit of cilantro.

*I tend to use whatever tomato concoction I have left over, just hanging around in my refrigerator, I have never been disappointed.

Makes 4 to 5 servings.

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