My second podcast is with Lily Ramirez Foran of the wonderful Picado Mexican in Dublin. Lily is a Mexican cook in Dublin, and the Irish authority on Mexican cuisine. She is who I go to when I have queries and I have learned a lot from Lily and her website A Mexican Cook in Ireland over the years. I always pop in to Lily’s gorgeous shop Picado in Dublin when I am home and stock up on proper corn tortillas, beans, chillies and anything else I fancy for cooking adventures at home.
I was at home last week and I had a few days in Dublin. On the day that we recorded the podcast – and I will be sharing that soon! – I bought several things, on of which I will talk about now, a 1kg bag of dried black beans. I cooked up a batch and I have been using them since. Dried beans are a terrific and much under used ingredient. I love them. Tinned beans are only for an emergency for me (and yes, I am the type of person that might occasionally have a bean emergency!).
I have cooked them many ways. They make terrific refried beans (and always with pork or bacon fat which gives a depth of flavour and lovely round mouthfeel). I cooked them with bacon, coffee and chipotle chillies (fabulous and also one to share but it needs a tweak), and I cooked them as I have seen them before, Mexican style with chorizo, topped with fried corn tortilla strips and ripe avocado which gives creaminess. Sublime.
Cook your beans from scratch
This is very easy. You can buy tinned black beans but I would encourage you to cook up your own. It isn’t complicated, and it doesn’t take as long as you think. Soak them overnight in plenty of water and then boil them in water for about half an hour until cooked through but still firm. I don’t add salt, I season when they are being used or addd in another dish, nor do I add bicarbonate of soda as some do to make them soft. I like them firm, and this way I know they will survive cooking in another recipe without going to mush. You can add an onion, bay, a carrot, bits like that for flavour. I happened to have some lovely dried Irish kelp (a deeply savoury seaweed) and so I threw some of that in the pot for richness.
Enjoy! This is the perfect dish for this time of year and it reheats brilliantly, tasting even better the next day.
Check out my new food and cooking podcast – Fingers in Pies!
Other Recipes You will love
- 400g black bans (cooked weight if from scratch or drained weight, about a tin and a half)
- 100g chorizo, cut into dice
- 1 chipotle chilli
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp epazote
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 250g tomato passata
- 3 10cm corn tortillas cut into thin strips
- sunflower oil for frying
- sea salt