This recipe for Spicy Black Beans with Homemade Chorizo combines dry black beans with spicy homemade chorizo to create a very flavorful side dish. Or make it a gluten-free main by adding a dollop of sour cream and a side of cornbread or tortillas!
The making of Spicy Black Beans with Homemade Chorizo
It was coming up to Labor Day weekend, and while we are still under stay in place (SIP) orders, everyone wants to celebrate Labor Day in one way or the other. Labor Day, the first weekend in September, is officially the last day of summer here in the United States, although on the actual calendar, it's not until September 21st or 22nd, depending on the year, but hey, EVERYONE knows Labor Day weekend is for BBQ's, getting together with friends, and celebrating the end of summer.
Well, at least we could have the BBQ part of the program.
On Friday BB told me he wanted to have BBQ Ribs, Corn on the Cob, and some spicy beans, but not my Texas Style Ranch Beans, some new beans.
Got you covered my dear with some delicious Spicy Black Beans with Homemade Chorizo, a recipe I wrote some time ago, back in the days when one could just write a recipe, no photo needed. It's been sitting in my unpublished file waiting for me to make it and take some photos and this seemed like a great time to finally do that.
To soak or not soak your beans?
I generally don't have the forethought to soak my beans overnight. My dinner decisions are done pretty much the same day as I'm making it, although admittedly when I worked full time I did have a more thought out schedule, but my beans always ended up with the quick-soak method.
Beans done with the quick soak method are, after picking though for small stones and other possible debris, rinsed, put into a pot of water covered by 2-inches, and then brought to a boil. Once they reach a boil, boil for 2 minutes then turn off the stove and let them sit for 1 hour, drain, and proceed with your recipe.
Done overnight it just that. Cover your cleaned beans with 2 to 3 inches, or more, of water, and let them sit out overnight. Drain and proceed with your recipe.
In this recipe, because the request was made on Friday, and I wasn't going to cook them until Sunday (a day of rest is always good for a bean recipe) serving them on Monday, I had plenty of time to "soak them overnight".
There is also the no soak method. That obviously is to not soak them at all. They will cook, eventually, but may take an hour or so longer than a soaked bean. And even a soaked bean is subject to taking longer to cook, depending on the "age" of the bean.
Bean Cooking Times?
As I said, bean cooking time will depend on whether you soaked them, and the age of the bean. With this recipe for Spicy Black Beans with Homemade Chorizo, I must have had elderly beans. Even soaking them overnight, I had to add an hour and a half to my 2 ½ hour cooking time. So however long any recipe states, the beans are done when the beans are done. Cooking times are a good time to start checking them for tenderness. Stir, and check often, adding water as necessary.
the beans are done, when beans are done.
This is a good reason to cook them in advance, like the day before. Not only will you not be stressing undercooked beans, but you can also let the beans sit in the refrigerator making happy noises with all of the other ingredients. Day-old cooked beans are the best old cooked beans.
Cooking Methods for Spicy Black Beans with Homemade Chorizo
In the Oven:
The preferred method of cooking the beans for this recipe is in the oven. Slow and low. This allows the maximum flavor to build up and most control over checking for tenderness.
Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot:
While you can make Spicy Black Beans in your pressure cooker or Instant Pot, the speed in which the beans cook really doesn't allow that much flavor to build. And these are certainly flavorful beans, so if you go with this method, please allow the day of rest for the beans to get settled with all their flavor components.
Slow-Cooker or Crock-Pot:
I had a girlfriend who made chili once in her crockpot and even with overnight soaking, the beans were still hard after two days. I finally recommended she remove the chili from the crockpot and put it on top of the stove to properly come to a proper boil. I'm not sure if her crockpot was faulty or what, but keep an eye out for time if using a crockpot, and if they aren't done fully in 8-hours or so, take them to the stovetop to finish.
Spicy Black Beans need some spicy!
My recipe for Homemade Mexican Chorizo is already pretty spicy with a combo of various chili powders, cayenne, and other spices. If you don't want to make your own chorizo, at least go to a store that makes housemade chorizo or find a good quality Mexican chorizo.
Combine that spicy chorizo with some jalapeno for heat, chipotle in adobo for smokiness and additional heat, and then for added flavor hit me up with some Poblano or Anaheim chili. These chilis give a nice rounded heat.
Cilantro Stems add flavor
Cilantro stems. Just the stems. The stems have so much flavor and are generally discarded. I learned a trick recently from Jacques Pepin that he learned from his wife Gloria and that is to cut the stems from the leaves when you bring the cilantro home. Keep those stems wrapped in a paper towel sealed in a baggie in the freezer. Then anytime you are making chili, or beans, add flavor with chopped cilantro stems. Easy to chop what you need from the frozen stems when you need it. Finely chopped they impart flavor while the stems just disappear.
What to Serve with Spicy Black Beans with Homemade Chorizo?
Here are some great go-to dishes that pair perfectly with this recipe:
Spicy Black Beans with Homemade Chorizo
- 1 pound dried black beans picked over for stones and other matter, soaked either overnight or using the quick-soak method
- 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 8 ounces Homemade Mexican Chorizo or quality store-bought
- ⅓ to ½ cup quality chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 jalapeno sliced thinly (with or without seeds depending on your hot level) or chopped
- 1 chipotle in adobo with some adobo sauce minced
- ½ cup diced seeded Anaheim California chile
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro stems
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Heat the oven to 325°F.
- Heat a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat; add the oil and onions; saute for 3 - 5 minutes. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring and using the back of the spoon to break it into small pieces; cook for about 7 minutes or until no longer pink and some of its liquid has been released. Drain the beans and add to the pot along with enough water to cover by 2 inches; add the spices, jalapeno, chipotle pepper, Anaheim pepper, and cilantro stems. Stir - cover and place in the oven; cook 2 ½ hours, check for the tenderness of the beans. If the beans are tender, remove them from the oven, if not, uncover and cook until tender adding water as needed.
- When the beans are tender, remove the pot from the oven. Place half of the beans (and some of the liquid) into a blender or food processor and process until mostly smooth. (Please use caution when blending hot liquids.). Return the blended mixture to the pot, taste, and add salt, pepper, and additional spices to your taste. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes then serve. Thin with water as needed as the beans do get thicker as they sit.