slow cooked black beans
PREP TIME 20 mins, plus soaking, COOK TIME 1 1⁄2 hrs
1 cup dried black beans
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 large jalapeño or other mild green chilli, finely chopped
1⁄3 cup pancetta, finely diced
3 cups hot chicken stock
freshly ground black pepper
chopped cilantro leaves, to garnish (optional)
sour cream, to serve (optional)
1 Put the dried beans in a large bowl, cover well with cold water, and allow them to soak overnight. The beans will swell as they soak, so leave enough room for them to expand. Drain the beans and rinse them well under cold running water.
2 Heat the oil in a medium, heavy-based saucepan. Fry the onion over a medium heat for 5 minutes, until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook for another minute. Finally, add the pancetta and cook for 3 –4 minutes, until crispy and golden brown.
3 Add the beans and chicken stock to the pan. Season to taste with pepper (the stock and pancetta are salty). Bring to the boil, reduce to a low simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 1 hour, or until the cooking liquid is reduced.
4 Cover and cook on a very low heat for 30–45 minutes, until the beans are tender and the liquid has reduced and thickened. Serve on its own, or with a sprinkling of cilantro and a bowl of sour cream on the side.