Soft black beans ah… there’s nothing quite like these morsels of healthful comfort being stuffed into a breakfast burrito, or ladled into a hot bowl of rice.
I know I could eat bowls and bowls of black beans, but they are just so filling.
Black beans are a good source of plant-based protein, iron, folate, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, and fiber. Nutritious and filling, they are great for blood sugar regulation as it’s a low-glycemic food. Now that’s really great news for if you have a genetic predisposition to all kinds of nasties ranging from diabetes to heart disease. Wait… that’s probably most people over the age of 30, so read on.
JACKIE AND THE BEAN TALK
I first came to know about the humble bean through the English fairytale, “Jack and the Beanstalk.” It was the “fi-fi-fo-fum” and magic beans that got me fascinated about them as a child. Before moving to the American continent, the way I enjoyed my beans were the way Brits, Indians, Chinese, and Malaysians ate them. It wasn’t until I came to America for college that I was introduced to Mexican-style beans.
My first Mexican food experience? Taco Bell. I know!
this was news to a Bornean girl. Taco Bell in the 90s weren’t half bad (so I thought). Taco Bell in 2022? I wouldn’t dare to eat that now.
My brief but very educational time exploring Taco Bells and other American fast food chains taught me so much about America, and I make no apologies for that. Hah! Then as time went on, the food I ate generally got better. From pintos in my enchiladas to kidney beans in my salads, limas on the side to black beans in my burritos, I became more and more familiar with the beans of the Americas.
How This Recipe Came Into Being
I can’t even begin to count the many times that my dinner was destroyed by highly-rated recipes from popular bloggers with huge followings. To arrive here, I researched at least 10 recipes, and tried 4 recipes to compare. Alas, the results of those “supposedly” tried-and-tested instant pot recipes were not great; I wasn’t dining happy.
One recipe made the side so wet it became a game of dig for beans in a pool of muddy water! I had to drain all of that excess liquid using a colander to be able to see beans, not to mention all that flavor flushed down the drain. Another recipe was also too wet, and the other two were too dry.
I just don’t understand how recipes that have hundreds of 5 star ratings can be so bad! They’re so bad I can’t bring myself to reference or credit them in my own blog. I felt duped, conned, and am angry on behalf of humanity.
Let’s not talk about these infuriating fake foodies, and focus on true yum. I’ve found the perfect ratio and cooking time that I like, and here it is. One more thing…
The Dining Happy Way
For ultimate satisfaction, use the freshest organic dry beans you can get. Like all ingredients, cooked dried beans can be young and tender, or mature and grainy. In addition, shelf life makes a difference too. The longer beans sit on the shelf, the dryer they get. Remember to check the expiration date at the back of your packaging. If you have access to farm-fresh dried organic beans, that’ll be the best, though you might need to reduce the high pressure cooking time by 5 minutes. Otherwise, just get whatever you can. I like the Simple Truth brand from Kroger’s because the beans they use are younger and smaller in size. I made it once with Don Lorenzo organic beans, and they were on the grainy and dry side.
Look for younger, smaller beans if you like a smoother and less grainy experience.
- 1 lb dried black beans
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 medium onion roughly chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups broth of water
- Rinse beans.
- Saute onions and spices until golden brown.
- Add beans, saute for another 3 minutes until fragrant.
- Add 4 cups of broth or water and salt.
- Cover and set IP to high pressure, for 30 minutes.
- Release pressure in 10 minutes after cooking is done. Leave the pressure to release naturally for softer beans.