Austin-Style Black Beans #SundaySupper

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Welcome to a Budget Friendly edition of Sunday Supper! Up front, I have to confess something. I don’t really ever budget when it comes to our food costs. Now I’m certainly not buying things like caviar and lobster every week, and I’m very cognizant of what is and isn’t on a special sale that week, but I don’t enter the grocery store with a number in mind that I can’t or shouldn’t exceed. I’m a firm believer in the principle of pay more for your food and less for your healthcare. So I’ll cut back in almost every other area of life, but not food.

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True story to illustrate my point: several years ago I noticed that my everyday boots had a not-so-insignificant hole in the sole. Fortunately they were thick soles, so the situation wasn’t as dire as it sounds, but still – that’s not great. I ventured into a shopping mall with the express purpose of buying a new pair of shoes. Two hours later I walked back to my car, without any new shoes, but carrying in hand a bag of goodies, including a bottle of $11 gourmet barbecue sauce, from Williams-Sonoma. Yeah. You can see where my priorities lie.

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Eventually I did replace the shoes, but I didn’t on that particular day because I was being mindful of our overall budget, and well, I wanted the barbecue sauce more. So this week’s theme was a little bit out of my wheelhouse!

In the end, I decided I couldn’t go wrong with dried beans. They are extremely cheap, and once cooked they stretch to either feed a small army, or let a few people eat for a week, easy. These were delicious – full of flavor, incredibly filling, high in protein, and you will not feel like you are “eating cheap”, if that makes sense. They work wonderfully as a side dish, but I ate a more substantial-sized bowl for lunch today, and was a perfectly happy camper.

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I hope y’all enjoy them! And definitely check out the rest of the Sunday Supper gang for some fantastic ideas on budget friendly, yet delicious recipes!

{Two Years Ago: Poutine, Blue Cheese Hazelnut Biscuits}

Source: slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain

1 lb. dried black beans, rinsed, picked over and rocks discarded
1 tbs canola or vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped, plus a nice spoonful of adobo sauce
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbs tomato paste
¼ cup lime juice
Kosher salt, to taste
Crumbled Cotija cheese, for garnish (optional – this will make it non-vegan)

Place the beans in a large bowl and fill with water, covering them by about 1 inch. Soak at room temperature overnight. Drain the beans well, then transfer to a large soup pot. Cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.
Drain and rinse the beans in a colander in the sink.
Return the empty pot to the stove and heat to medium-high. Add the oil, then the onion. Saute the onion and cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Lower the heat to medium, then add the beans, chipotle plus adobo sauce, and ¼ cup cilantro. Cover with 2 inches of water, bring to a boil, and then turn the heat down and simmer uncovered for 1 ½ hours. Adjust the heat around as necessary and stir occasionally to prevent scorching on the bottom. You want to keep things at a gently rolling simmer.
After 1 ½ hours, add the remaining cilantro, cumin, tomato paste, lime juice and salt to taste. Cook uncovered 30 minutes more, or until the beans are tender. Taste again for seasoning and adjust as needed. Garnish with Cotija if you desire, noting that it will no longer be vegan if you do so.
Note: you may need to go longer than the stated 2 hours cook time, just keep tasting and see. Mine went an extra 30 minutes purely because I got distracted cooking the rest of our dinner that night, and they were not overcooked at all.

Scrumptious Mains (Breakfast and Dinner)

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46 responses to “Austin-Style Black Beans #SundaySupper

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  9. Mmmm…and that cotija cheese on top!

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  12. SO spicy and perfect! I’d love to add these to my next Tex-Mex menu!!!

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  16. I always take the shortcut and use canned beans… but maybe next time I make black beans, I’ll try it this way! 🙂

    • Texan New Yorker

      Me too! I’ve been learning my way around dried beans the past year or so, after one or two major fails.

      Thanks Katie!

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  19. Ohhh yummy! I love all the spices you used. This would be a great side dish for a Mexican dinner – or as a topping for nachos or tacos!!

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  21. Great choice for a budget plan! We don’t really budget anymore either. I did when the kids were home because it was two more mouths to feed. Wouldn’t be a bad idea for me to plan more though!

  22. These sound great and using dried beans is so inexpensive!!

  23. My hubby loves Black Beans – he is going to be so excited I found this recipe!

  24. Heh–I’ve walked out many a time with just a stash of cookie butter aaaaand…no bread, eggs, or milk. Whoops for priorities. I do, however, have some black beans on hand! Looks scrumptious!

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  26. What a great twist on the usual Cuban or Mexican style black beans we usually make! Lovely and simple side dish.

  27. I love black bean soup. Definitely budget-friendly and delicious! I agree that staying within a budget can be hard but you did get to eventually enjoy the BBQ sauce and new boots!

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  29. Love black bean soup, and yours looks delish. Love the addition of chipotle to “kick it up a notch”. I need to try this recipe!

  30. Heart your priorities, Julie…Do believe we would be good shopping buddies =)

    With your yummy sounding recipe, winter is almost welcome!

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