Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Cuban Beer-Infused Black Beans

As soon as I saw Janet's Cuban Beer-Infused Black Beans recipe I was sold.  We had beer in the house that I earmarked for the recipe, limes on the tree (most went into limeade), poblano chillis that bemused me, and a love of spicy bean stews.

Janet highly recommend the roasted hatch chillis in the recipe that she made but I have never found there here in Melbourne.  However for a short time, our local Coles supermarket had a huge range of chilli peppers.  I bought some poblano chillis on a whim.  I was wooed by the lovely deep green glossy skins.  It was a relief when I got home and looked them up on Wikipedia to read that it is quite mild, with only an odd rogue spicy one.  Finally I have met a chilli pepper I can love.  Sadly it was just a passing phase of Coles and I haven't seen them again.

It has been a long time since I made a "chilli non carne" (aka chilli con carne without meat!).  When I was first blogging chilli non carne was the basis of every Mexican dish I made.  Since then I have tried it in many ways - with cocoa, carob, dried apricots, bulgar wheat, hominy, silverbeet and of course a mole sauce.  More recently I have used rapid refried beans in tacos and nachos because it is so quick.  But it lacks the soupy comfort factor of a good chilli non carne.

This recipes is actually a Cuban recipe and probably not technically a chilli non carne.  However it is similar enough to be closely associated with it in my mind.  I love it with its creamy coconut milk sauce and depth of flavour.  It seemed very soupy so I added extra tomato paste and simmer it an extra 10 minutes.  I also worried that the soy sauce would overwhelm the other flavours but it didn't dominate once simmered.  We ate it with tortillas, tangy silverbeet and cheese.  Leftover were a delight.

I made these beans a couple of months ago.  It was on a serendipitous weekend.  I decided to go to Fairfield Farmers Market and we were passing Sylvia's kinder friends on the way home so we dropped in.  The following day we caught up with one of her school friends (A) and went to the park.  While another school friend (D) turned up who had been on an overseas trip.  The little girls were delighted to catch up and huddled under one of the large oak trees doing secret little girls business while the parents all caught up.  Eating a good bean stew was an excellent end to a lovely weekend.


Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Dolly's birthday cake
Two years ago: NCR Oranges history, trivia and a salad
Three years ago: Easey Cheesey Scones
Four years ago: Nutella Blondies
Five years ago: Sour Skon
Six years ago: Pumpkin soup and history
Seven years ago: Eight plus eight - recycling tags!

Cuban Beer-Infused Black Beans
Adapted from Meatless All Day via the taste space
Serves 4

1 tbsp rice bran oil (or other neutral oil)
1 small onion, chopped
2 baby carrots, peeled and diced
1 red capsicum, finely chopped
2 fresh poblano chilli peppers, diced
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup beer
1 cup light coconut milk
1/4 cup water 
2 x 400g tins (3 cups) black beans, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp stock powder

Fry onion and carrots in oil over medium heat for a few minutes while you chop the capsicum and chillis.  Stir in capsicum and chillis and fry for about 5 to 10 minutes.  The vegetables should be softening.  Add the garlic and cumin and stir for about a minute.  Stir in the tomato paste until it starts to brown.  Deglaze with the beer for a minute or two.  Add remaining ingredients.  Simmer uncovered for 15 to 25 minutes until mixture has thickened and flavours meld.

On the Stereo:
Blue: Joni Mitchell

22 comments:

  1. Smackign my lips here and its not even lunch time. I love the sound of this, I know its not a chilli, but that is what this kind of dish reminds those of us in the West, I don't think I have ever made a chilli with alcohol. Your green peppers look almost black! I need to vary my chilli pots, I tend to stick to the same recipe, simply because we love it, but I will try to remedy that.
    PS home-made Limeade, mmmmm

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    1. Thanks Shaheen - I have made chillli non carne with beer a few times and it is great but I was unsure how beer, coconut milk and lime would go together - I can happily recommend it - and also recommend home made limeade. I wasn't sure if most poblanos are such a dark colour but given I have never seen them before and didn't know when I would again I was willing to take the chance!

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  2. This sounds great! I have had a bag of black beans for a few months, so this sounds like a great recipe to use them in.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - this would be an excellent use for black beans - I had a bag of them and don't know where it went - either buried or weeviled I suspect :-(

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  3. This recipe sounds wonderful! And I love a recipe that improves with age as leftovers :D

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - that is one reason I love soups and stews because most are so much better the next day

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  4. This looks really lovely, and subtly different to other bean / Mexican recipes I have seen. We never have beer so I rarely follow through on recipes that call for it, but if the opportunity hits I will pull this out!

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    1. Thanks Kari - we have beer around sometimes in summer - E goes on and off it but I don't drink it much - I do love it for cooking and sometimes just love to buy some beer with a silly label for cooking to amuse myself - highly recommend it, esp in the UK

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  5. It just keeps getting hotter here and yet I still find myself craving warm cozy meals like this! Love the beer infusion.

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    1. Thanks Joanne - a good spicy stew is excellent for the heat, after all I think it is pretty hot in cuba but then again I don't know much about cuba

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  6. If there is any one who can convince me to go meatless, Johanna, it is most definitely you! I love the way you introduce new dishes that may not have meat but have so many other natural flavors going on. I'm sure the coveted peper was a nice touch but all the other ingredients sound just as nice. The thought of cooking it all up with beer and coconut milk is fabulous!

    Thank you so much for sharing, Johanna...

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    1. Thanks Louise - I confess I would have problems being a vegetarian in it was all lettuce leaves and boring soup but I think I eat better as a vegetarian than I did as a meat eater. The poblano worked well but is not essential - I actually found out that when dried they are called ancho chilli powder but when I check Janet's she used hatch - another chilli I never see her - and mentioned how smoky it was so I kicked myself for not using a little smoked paprika. Hope you get to enjoy it

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    2. I may get to enjoy it sooner than I thought Johanna. I showed the recipe to my son who has been a vegetarian for about three years now and he nearly flipped! He will be coming for a visit in August and has requested that I prepare this dish for him:)

      Hatch seems to have a limited season appearance. Very rarely do I see them around here. I'll be going with the Ancho Cjili Powder because I just happen to have some. I think I'll add a bit of smoky paprika too...Thanks again, Johanna...

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    3. I am sure your son would love it. RE the hatch chillis I think that Janet used tinned hatch chillis - we don't have much in the way of tinned chillis or fresh ones here - though there is one mexican shop I know that might have them - I shoudl check. And smoked paprika is always excellent! Love to hear how he likes it

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  7. Yippee! Glad to hear it was a hit, Johanna. I never thought it was Luke chili, but now that you mention it, I can totally see why. :)

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    1. Thanks Janet - I think I see beans + tomato + spice and if it is not a curry then it is a chilli but I probably just need to travel more :-) Thanks for the great recipe and hope your travels go well

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  8. Oh goodness gracious me this looks fantastic! I've recently fallen back in love with beans so I will definitely be giving this recipe a go! Bookmarked! :)

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth - actually I think this recipe is good enough to make you fall in love with beans (just in case you fall out of love again) - glad you are enjoying them right now and I am sure you will love this!

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  9. Oh yum, this is just the sort of thing I love. This and a big pile of rice or quinoa or something, and I'd be happy as anything. And then I'd get to finish off the rest of the beer too, so double win!

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    1. Thanks Joey - these beans would be great with rice or quinoa and excellent accompanied by the remaining beer

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  10. That looks so satisfying for a cold winter's night!

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  11. Oh, that sauce looks so tasty! Nice ramekins too. :-)

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