Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Slow Cooker Black Beans

This weeks recipe is Slow Cooker Black Beans (served with rice.) So Hubby and I like black beans, we're not so much pinto bean fans... Recently I wanted to get away from canned beans and try using dry beans. Why? Who knows? Maybe I wanted this new challenge, because I've never really cooked with dry beans before. I made some black beans a few weeks ago, and they were okay, but nothing special. This past week when I made them, they were TONS better, and so I'm going to share this recipe with you. I will be making beans again, as during the next 2-3 weeks I'm on a purging my pantry menu plan. I want to use what I have in my cupboards with buying a minimum amount of other stuff (fresh produce is a must, although I also need to use some stuff in the freezer). I am going to try one or two things different next time I make it and I'll let you know if it changes that much.

Slow Cooker Black Beans

Place in 3 1/2- to 4 1/2-quart slow cooker (You can use a larger one as well, but not a smaller one, unless you cut the recipe in half): 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper, 3 cloves garlic - minced, 1 jalapeno finely chopped and 1 cup dry black beans, rinsed.
Add 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp chili powder, and 2 tsp ground cumin.
Add 2 cups tomato juice (you can use water if you don't have tomato juice), 1 can(14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, and 1 cup cooked ham (left over from a ham that was on sale for $0.99/lb - it was a large ham, we had it for dinner a few nights and then I chopped up 8 cups to freeze for meals such as this. Tip on buying ham - don't buy shank! Butt Portion usually has less bone and more meat). Stir well.

Cook on high heat for 6-8 hours or until most of the liquid is absorbed and beans are tender.Serve over a bed of rice. You'll want about 3-4 cups of cooked rice. I use brown rice as it is whole grain and I like the taste better. If you prefer white rice, but want the health benefits, I just learned that basmati rice is whole grain and still white. I have not tried it so I don't know how it compares to white or brown rice.
You can top with cheese as well.


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  1. Clint loves Bismati rice!
    Do you have any alternate meat suggestions? I don't really like ham or bacon...would that work?
    And also, I'm wondering why the black beans seem to turn red?

  2. The red coloration comes from the tomatoes and the tomato juice (the picture before it cooks is actually tamed down because it almost looked like blood before I cooked it which was totally unappetizing).
    You can leave the ham out but it does add a good flavor. Bacon is a good substitute for the ham. I would add 1/4 lb bacon (cooked) with the fat drippings.


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