Saucy Black Beans

Black beans are a go-to side dish for any Baja meal.

  • Servings: 8

Photography: Victoria Pearson

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2002


  • 1 twelve-ounce package dried black beans, picked over
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 8 cups cold water
  • Peel of 1 orange, pith removed (optional)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, sliced in half lengthwise and seeded (optional)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Hot-pepper sauce, such as Tabasco (optional)


  1. Place beans in a large bowl or stockpot; cover with cold water by 2 inches. Let stand at room temperature 4 hours or overnight. Drain, and rinse beans with cold water; set aside.

  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until it is soft and translucent but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add the beans and the cold water, along with the orange peel and/or jalapeno, if desired. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a gentle simmer; cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, creating a saucelike consistency, about 2 hours. Most of the liquid should have evaporated.

  3. Remove from heat; remove orange peel and/or jalapeno, if using. Season with salt, black pepper, and hot-pepper sauce, if desired. Serve hot or at room temperature.


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