Black Beans (KISS!)

I want a couple of cups of cooked Black Beans for a Christmas dish (no more on that yet). I have bought a bag, soaked and boiled them, but (after setting aside what I really want to use) have a couple of containers in the freezer.


They are surely strange. Look at the pot.

  • Deep, dark, glisteningly black – and with a satisfyingly meaty flavour? Tick.

  • A bit of eye-tickle colour? No way of adding tomato, pepper, spinach or whatever. Oh lordy – far worse than “student-brown-vegetarian-stew”. By a long way.
  • And nose-tickle?

Fwiw, this hit the spot. Had my tongue, eyes, and nose dancing a gloriously abandoned Cuban Salsa. [Shut up, kids — it’s a metaphor, or summat. My feet didn’t move an inch! Just keep it simple.]


  • 1 large onion
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tins of black beans, drained [or the equivalent in dried beans, soaked overnight and boiled]
  • 2 tsp tomato puree
  • 1 (or 2?) green chillis
  • 1-2 bay leaves, a small pinch of dried red chilli flakes, a pinch of dried mixed dried herbs, a generous pinch of dried thyme, and salt and pepper to taste


  • Peel, chop finely, and fry the onion in olive oil for about 10 minutes, until tender, clear, but not browning. Peel, chop finely, and add the garlic and fresh chilli(s) after about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomato puree, add the herbs and seasonings, and cook another couple of minutes.
  • Add the beans to the pan, with just enough water (or vegetable stock) to make a thick stew. Simmer for maybe 10 minutes for the flavours to meld.
  • Serve on a bed of plain white rice.

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