Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tall Can Mexican Black Beans

I love when a recipe is actually inspired by a song, rather than coming up with a recipe and then searching for a song to go with it!  I'd been in a Tim Armstrong mood the other day (when aren't I?), but wasn't feeling like Rancid, so I pulled out both albums by the Transplants.  As soon as I heard the song "Tall Cans In The Air", I knew I had to do a beer recipe with tall cans!  I brainstormed a lot of ideas (and will still do more), but in the end, I decided going with a Mexican theme.  The black beans are Part 1 of my Tecate dinner, and they came out great!  I'm not even a big fan of beans, but seasoned with all these great flavours, I couldn't help but love 'em.

Justin and I actually were discussing whether or not we could taste the beer in the beans... 3 cups in a recipe is a hell of a lot of beer.  However, it didn't really seem to stand out.  There wasn't a super distinct beer flavour, but I'm sure after simmering for hours with a load of other flavours, it's just going to blend in with the rest.  I wouldn't change the recipe at all... though I might be inclined to try a darker beer next time, perhaps a Negro Modelo?

And so I present to you the Transplants (whom I've been listening to all week), doing "Tall Cans In The Air"... lemme see 'em!  -jen

Difficulty: Medium
Prep Time: Overnight soaking
Cook Time:  3-4 hours
Serves:  6-8 
  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 8 cups water
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tall can (24oz) Tecate beer (separated)
  • 1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, chopped (de-seed for less heat)
  • 3 heaping tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 can (4oz) diced green chiles
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • few dashes of Green Tabasco 
Sort through dried beans to check for small pebbles.  Soak in 8 cups of water overnight.

Using a colander, drain soaking water from beans.  Place beans in a large stock pot with 5 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of the Teacate beer.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and turn heat down to simmer for 1.5 hours.

Add tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, jalapeños, garlic, green chiles, cilantro, lime juice, bay leaves, cumin, coriander, oregano, salt, Tabasco, and remaining 1 cup of Tecate.  Continue simmering with the lid off for another 1.5-2 hours.  Part way through the second simmer, using a masher, mash up some of the beans to help thicken the sauce.  Cook down until desired consistency.  Sauce should be slightly thickened, but they shouldn't be soupy.

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