Mexican Smoky Beans

I’d bought a huge piece of pickled pork at the markets recently and instead of the usual Bavarian style of accompaniments you’d associate with it, I opted for a more New-World approach. I figured a smoky, rich flavour would accompany the salty pork pretty well. I also had a few dried chipotle peppers to hand, which impart the most amazing aroma and flavour so created these delicious beans. They worked perfectly with the pork – I’m sure I’ll make these again too as they’re not only packed with flavour but are super healthy to boot.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
3 dried chipotle peppers (soaked in 1 cup boiling water for 20 minutes)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
salt & pepper
pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon chipotle sauce
1 x 400g can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 x 400g can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (optional)
fresh coriander (for garnish)

Heat the oil in a saucepan over a moderate heat. Gently fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until soft and golden. Add the chipotle peppers (keep the liquid), bay leaf, paprika, chilli powder and oregano and stir for about 30 seconds. Pour in the tomatoes, chipotle soaking liquid and chipotle sauce. Season with salt & pepper and add the sugar. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid, and cook for 10 minutes more. Fish out the chipotle peppers and bay leaf then tip in the black and kidney beans and stir well. Turn up the heat slightly and bring to a simmer then cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the red wine vinegar (if using) and serve.

Serve with a sprinkling of fresh coriander. I served mine alongside the delicious sliced salted pork and punched potatoes.

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