Game Night Black Beans & Rice

This time of year, I am particularly drawn to single-bowl meals that can be eaten in front of “the big game.” This is one of my children’s favorites.  The beans can be made ahead and last several days in the fridge.  They also freeze well.  Cooking time varies, depending on the age of the dried beans.  Count on 2-4 hours.  Enjoy!

16 oz. dried black beans
1 large onion, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 T. powdered red chili (Ancho, New Mexico, whatever you have on hand)
1 T. ground cumin
15 oz can diced tomatoes
1-3 dried smoked chiles (chipotle are the most readily available)

Hot cooked brown rice (opt, cooked in chicken stock)

Grated cheddar cheese
Diced red onions, chili peppers, & tomatoes
Sour cream or plain yogurt
Diced avocado
Cilantro, chopped

Put beans in a pot and add enough water to cover by 2”. Soak overnight.

The next day, drain beans and place in a large pot. Add onion, garlic, powdered chili, cumin, tomatoes and whole dried smoked chilis to the pot. Add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to boil. Turn heat down to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours. Taste beans. If they are almost tender, season generously with salt and simmer 30 minutes longer, until beans are soft and liquid is thick. If beans are still chalky or hard, continue simmering, adding more water as necessary to keep them covered. Taste beans every 20 minutes or so until you are satisfied with their texture. Season with salt and simmer until liquid is thick.

To serve, place 1/3 c. hot brown rice in a bowl and spoon about 2/3 c. beans over. Top with shredded cheddar cheese, diced onions, chili peppers, tomatoes, avocado sour cream and/or cilantro.

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