Monday, April 22, 2013

Black Beans Sauteed with Onion, Garlic & Bacon Grease

Black Beans Sauteed with Onion, Garlic & Bacon Grease

I realize this isn't the most appetizing picture of black beans, but trust me...they tasted fabulous! I attribute this to the seasoning. When you fix beans from scratch with aromatics and spices instead of plain water, it makes a huge difference in flavor. 

But when you're using canned beans and have no control over what they were cooked in...well, you had better season them properly! Beans aren't going to taste like a million bucks straight out of a can. But bacon grease will sure make 'em taste that way! 

If you happen to find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having no bacon or bacon grease on hand (or you're a vegetarian...that part is not unfortunate), I recommend substituting virgin coconut oil or organic grass-fed butter instead. It won't have quite the same flavor, but will still taste delicious. 

This is a great recipe for meat eating bean haters (most vegetarians and vegans I know already love beans). Cooking bacon with foods is a well-known trick to pleasing persnickety folks, especially when it comes to veggies. If you don't believe me, try adding bacon to roasted brussels sprouts  or roasted green beans and watch the magic happen.

Need ideas for main courses to serve with beans? Try these:

Looking for more recipe inspiration? Check out my side dish recipes and Cinco de Mayo recipes

Black Beans Sauteed with Onion, Garlic & Bacon Grease

Sautéing organic black beans with onion, garlic and bacon grease transform the ordinary protein and fiber rich food into a savory side dish that bean haters will love! 
| Recipe & Photograph by The Rising Spoon | © Elaina Newton 2013
Serves: 2

1 tablespoon of bacon grease (fresh or from the fridge)
1/2 of a yellow onion, diced
1 cup of cooked organic black beans (learn how to prepare homemade beans)
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/8-1/4 cup of homemade chicken stock (salt-free or low sodium)
Sea salt, to taste (I recommend Pink HimalayanCeltic or Utah sourced salt)
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Granulated Garlic, to taste

Recommended Equipment

Heat a skillet to medium or medium-high and add the bacon grease (or other fat). While that's melting, peel and dice the onion. Add that to the pan and let it cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Meanwhile, peel and mince the garlic cloves. If you're using canned beans, make sure drain and rinse them well under running water. Add the beans and garlic to the pan. Stir and cook for a minute or so. Make sure not to let the garlic burn. 

Season everything with salt, crushed red pepper, and granulated garlic, to taste. Increase the heat to medium-high (if it's not already on that setting) and quickly add the chicken stock. Use 1/8 cup at first and add more if necessary. 

Let that cook, stirring occasionally until it reduces by 1/2 or more. Turn off the heat and taste the beans. They may need more salt, garlic or crushed red pepper. 

Notes & Tips
  • These beans are extra good if you add in chunks of cooked pork like ham or slow cooker pork shoulder! I'm speaking from personal experience here.

 I'd like to hear from you! What's your favorite way to season canned or homemade beans?

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