There are many Central American black bean recipes, but this one is simple and delicious. The combination of bacon, onion, and cilantro is unbeatable.
Either cilantro seeds or fresh leaves will do fine. I have always made with the fresh leaves, but last night tried with seeds, and there is very little difference. Both have pungent-sweet high flavor.
I prefer using dried beans, but you can substitute canned beans (1 can). Be careful not to overcook, for the cooked beans can become overly soft quickly.
Black Beans with Bacon and Cilantro
* 1 cup dried black beans soaked overnight* 1 lg. onion coarsely chopped* 5 lg. cloves garlic, coarsely chopped* 2 tbsp. pounded coriander seeds or 1 lg. handful fresh coriander leaves* 1/4 pkg. hickory-smoked bacon* 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- Drain the beans
- Add all the above ingredients with enough water to cover with about 3” above
- Simmer for approximately 4 hours or until beans are tender
- Raise heat to reduce liquid to a semi-thick consistency
- Taste, and add salt and ground pepper.
- Serve in soup bowls garnished with fresh cilantro (optional)