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Black Beans and Rice - One pot

What you need: 

1 cup dried black beans
6 cups water, or 3 cups water + 3 cups stock
4-5 cloves garlic, sliced
2 teaspoons salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 teaspoons cumin
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
8 leaves fresh sage, chopped
fresh ginger, chopped, to taste
fresh chilies, chopped, to taste
2 cups brown rice (short grain works better in this)
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
5 medium carrots, diced
1 medium bell pepper, diced
3-4 plum tomatoes, diced
corn kernels, optional, to taste
avocado, diced, for garnish
French fried onions, for garnish, optional
flavored or plain extra virgin olive oil, for drizzle, optional

What you do: 

1. Day before: Sort and rinse beans. Add 3 cups water to a container, add beans, cover, place in fridge overnight. (Can stay in fridge a few more days if your cooking plans change). Cooking day: Remove beans from fridge and add to large (6 quart) saucepan, water and all. Add remaining 3 cups water or stock. Heat to boil, then reduce to slow boil for 1 hour.
2. While beans are cooking, add all seasonings. Salt added to the beans has not toughened them in my experience. After beans have cooked for 1 hour, add brown rice, stir, raise heat to boil, then reduce to simmer low enough to cover pot as completely as possible without causing spillover.
3. Pot should be large enough so that mixture only fills pot at most half full at this point. Stir briefly a few times during the next 30-40 minutes but recover to maintain simmer. Once rice is al-dente, add all vegetables (if using corn, add last 5-10 minutes of cooking), stir, bring back to simmer, and cover. As vegetables cook, the liquid level will increase but then decrease again as the rice absorbs it.
4. Stir occasionally to incorporate vegetables, and check for desired doneness of vegetables and rice. Keep covered to ensure rice cooks through. Garnish with avocado, if using. Final consistency will be on the thick side, but you can thin down now or later if desired. Can be made a soup with additional water or stock. I like to do this in the winter. Top with fried onions and drizzle with oil, if desired.
Use your imagination on flavoring, garnishes, etc. to adapt to your tastes, and enjoy! I like to adjust (mostly up) the onion, tomato, and garlic.
Source of recipe: I wrote this recipe.

Preparation Time: 
2 hours, Cooking time: 2 hours
Cooking Time: 
2 hours
Servings: 
8
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

made a variation of this last night (kidney instead of black beans; chilii powder, no celery or carrots; with parsley) and it was delicious. next time i think i'll throw in some celery. thanks for this.

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