Sunday, January 3, 2010

Black Bean Stew

I bought four packages of tacos the other day that, upon opening, were found to have been smashed to bits. That evening, a bag of chips with our taco toppings seemed an easier solution.

I was left, however, with the detritus of forty-eight broken tacos for which to find a use.

I put on my thinking cap and came up with this. It was a good choice for a Sunday dinner, since I could put it in first thing in the morning, and I didn't have much prep left after church.

Black Bean Stew (for topping chips or rice)

350F, five hours baking time, makes about 5 quarts

  • 3 cups dry black beans
  • 6 c water
  • 1/4 c taco seasoning mix*
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium diced onion
  • 1/4 c bacon fat
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • hot sauce to your taste, I used about 1 tbs
  • thickening of choice, optional
  • toppings such as salsa, sour cream, onions, tomatoes, ...
*I use a homemade taco seasoning mix that has no salt. What I use would equal about two taco seasoning packets, but use less salt, to your taste.

Soak beans overnight. If desired add 1/4 c whey to soaking water to help "pre-digest" the beans. Rinse several times before cooking.

Add first seven ingredients to a large baking dish or small roasting pan (I used my crockpot insert, I think it holds 6 qts). I crumbled up the beef a little. Bake covered at 350F.

After four hours, or when the beans are soft, add the honey, vinegar and hot sauce. Bake uncovered an additional hour. Acids and sugars will deter the beans from softening correctly, so make sure the beans are cooked before adding them.

If you'd like, thicken before serving.

Serve over rice or chips with whatever toppings you wish.


Erica J said...

What's your recipe for the taco seasoning mix? I hate paying a dollar a packet for the stuff.

theMom said...

Hi Erica,

This recipe makes about 3 1/2 c; I store mine in a quart jar. I've always intended to figure out how much salt to put with it, but haven't yet. Probably would fill the jar just right, but you'll have to do your own math.

Taco Seasoning Mix
1 c chili powder
3/4 c paprika
3/4 c cumin
1/2 c onion powder
1/3 c garlic powder
1/8 c cayenne pepper powder

Use 1/8 c for a pound of ground meat. And I probably use about a teaspoon of salt along with that amount, Maybe a bit less.

There are lots of variation on taco seasoning mix on the web. Each has it's own personality. But most are scaled to replace individual packets of seasoning. Try a few and find one you like. I use to use a different one, but never wrote it down or bookmarked it; and now I can't find it anymore.

A Stafford said...

Thanks, Mary. We've got Black Bean soup on the menu for this week (that we top with tortilla chips) so I'll have to save this one for next time.

I've been looking for a good "tested" hm taco seasoning mix, as many in the store have corn starch in them. I've been using perhaps too much cumin in my random attempts. I'll definitely give this combo a try!