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This crockpot black bean stew started out as an attempt at refried beans – until I remembered that black beans aren’t the beans traditionally used to make refried beans (all the refried beans I have observed in my young life have been made with pinto beans). So I changed gears, and since a lusciously thick, garlic-laden black bean stew was on my recipe ideas list already, that’s what we had for supper. And boy, was it good!
Dry beans used to intimidate me because I didn’t really know how to cook them. I still don’t really know how to cook them, but I bumble my way along and the results are usually edible. I don’t know if I cook them “correctly,” but it works. Dry beans are super cheap, so I use them when I can. They do take some planning because they need several hours in the crockpot to soften, but the results are worth it. I love crockpot meals because I can prepare the main dish for dinner in advance and then only have a little bit of work to do right around supper time.
Lots of onion and garlic impart rich flavor to this black bean stew, and later they are joined by fresh cilantro (imperative!) and some other seasonings. The end result is a thick stew that is great on its own (with a side of cornbread, if you so desire), over a salad, or on a cornbread waffle.
Leftovers will thicken up in the fridge, so I recommend adding a little water when you reheat them. I love to eat on leftover black bean stew for lunches throughout the week.
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- 2 lb. dry black beans
- 1 lg. onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ c. fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 T. each chili powder, paprika
- 1 T. chicken bouillon*
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. lime juice
- 1½ tsp. salt (may vary according to the saltiness of your chicken bouillon)
- ½ tsp. THM Super Sweet Blend
- ½ tsp. liquid smoke
- Additional water as needed
- Rinse and drain the beans and put them in a large crockpot. (I used a 6-qt. crockpot.) Cover the beans with water to about 1½" above the surface of the beans. Add the onion and garlic and cook on high for 3½ hours or until the beans are soft. Do not add more water during this time, but do stir the beans occasionally.
- Mash the beans with a potato masher until they are your desired consistency. I like to leave some texture. Add additional water as desired; I added an extra 2 cups. Add the second set of ingredients and stir, then cook on low for 2 hours. Serve.
- You can top this stew with low-fat sour cream and a small sprinkling of cheese, but keep fats to a minimum as this meal focuses on healthy carbs.
Leftover beans refrigerated overnight will probably need extra liquid added before reheating because they will absorb water in the fridge. Or leave them thick and serve them in low-carb or sprouted tortillas! I like to have these beans on hand for lunches throughout the week, but if they last for more than a few days I would freeze them since beans tend to spoil quickly in my experience.