Beer-Glazed Black Beans

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 20 minutes with cooked beans

It’s amazing how much flavor you get from adding a cup (or a bottle) of beer to black beans, and nearly any type of beer will work: Lagers and wheat beers will generally make a lighter and fruitier dish; porters will be rich, and stouts richer still, with deep, caramelized flavors. For a meal that emphasizes the beer’s origins, try eating this with a dish like Grain Griddlecakes.

You can make this dish vegan by using molasses in place of honey.

Other beans you can use: pinto, pink, pigeon peas, black-eyed peas, or appaloosa.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 cup beer

3 cups cooked or canned black beans, drained but still moist, liquid reserved

1 tablespoon chili powder (to make your own, see Chili Powder)

1 tablespoon honey

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for about a minute, then add the beer, beans, chili powder, honey, and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Bring to a steady bubble and cook until the liquid is slightly reduced and thickened, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot or store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Variations

Beer-Glazed Black Beans and Tomatoes. Any form of tomato fresh, canned, or paste is good here: Add 1 cup chopped ripe tomato or 1 to 2 tablespoons tomato paste in Step 1. Proceed with the recipe.

Beer-Glazed Black Beans and Chiles. Use your favorite chile, dried or fresh : Add 1 or 2 fresh chiles, cored, seeded, and chopped, along with the onion in Step 1. Or add 1 or 2 dried chiles, soaked and cleaned (see Buying, Storing, and Using) with the beans in Step 1. Proceed with the recipe.

Beer-Glazed Black Beans with Tamarind. For a bit of tang and quite mysterious: Stir in a couple teaspoons tamarind paste and a pinch of brown sugar if you like, in Step 1. Proceed with the recipe.

Beer-Glazed Black Beans, Asian Style. Add a tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger and 2 tablespoons or so fermented black beans with the garlic in Step 1. Stir in some soy sauce before salting.

Beer-Glazed Black Beans with Thai-Style Chile Paste. The heat of this paste melts right into the beans: Stir in a dollop of Thai-Style Chile Paste, in Step 1 with the beans.