Chorizo Black Beans and Some Killer Tacos

I’ve spent much of my culinary energy lately indulging our infatuation with the homemade chorizo sausage from last week’s post.  And by that I mean chorizo production is only just barely keeping up with consumption.  I’ve made a killer frittata (next week’s post?), an amazing Spanish “tortilla” with potatoes and chorizo, some delectable arroz con pollo, two pots of these wickedly delicious beans that we’ve eaten by the bowlful, with rice, and in burrito form, and of course, these awesomely good black bean chorizo tacos.

But it’s these beans that really have us excited.  Of course, you don’t have to make your own chorizo to enjoy these beans.  Not even.  Any chorizo is going to work here.  And the spicier the better.  But I am going to encourage you to start with dried beans.  Canned beans will work, but I’ve found that only when you start with dried beans can you create the creaminess that makes these beans so incredibly good.

So here’s the good news… we’re only talking 3 ingredients, and one of them is water.  Yep, just a bag o’ beans, some chorizo, some good ol’ H20 and about 3 hours.  And although I haven’t tried it, I’m sure you could do this in your slow cooker.

And once you get your beans all made, you’re halfway to some of the best tacos ever.  I’m not even kidding. 

Just heat some corn tortillas over the flame on your gas stove (or on a hot cast iron griddle) until they’re heated through, a little scorched, but still soft and bendy.  Place about ¼ cup or so of the black beans in each tortilla, top them with some avocado, a little cheese, some chopped cilantro, and a squirt of lime. Dude.  These are most definitely some very, very fine tacos.

I know, we’re sort of all chorizo here at the Circle B Kitchen these days, and I can’t promise it won’t be more of the same next week.  But if you’re into making your neighbors jealous about what’s going on in your kitchen, the aroma of simmering chorizo black beans would certainly do the trick.  Here are the recipes…

Chorizo Black Beans

Click here for a printable recipe

You can use any kind of chorizo sausage for these beans, either fresh (bulk or in links) or fully cooked.  If using fresh sausage in the links, you can remove the sausage from the casing.  If using fully cooked links, just cut the links lengthwise into quarters and then chop them before adding them to the pan

(1) 1-lb pkg of dried black beans

½ to ¾ lb chorizo sausage (see headnote)

1-2 teaspoons of salt

Rinse the black beans and remove any little stones or foreign matter (I never seem to find anything foreign in my beans, but I do it anyway). 

Place the beans in a heavy, medium-size pan or stockpot and cover with water by about 2 inches.  

Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour.  (After the beans have been simmering for about 30 minutes, I add a teaspoon of salt).  After an hour, the beans should be soft.  If they still seem to have a bite to them, continue cooking until they’re cooked through. 

Meanwhile, either chop or crumble your chorizo into a heavy soup pot.  Depending on how fatty your chorizo is, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to the pan.  Stir until the sausage is cooked through and nicely browned.

Using a spider strainer or slotted spoon, remove the beans from their cooking liquid and add them to the pot with the chorizo.  Add about half of the cooking liquid from the beans to the pot and then just enough water to barely cover the beans and chorizo.  

Simmer the beans, uncovered, for 1 to 2 hours or until the liquid has evaporated to the level of the beans.  Using a potato masher, mash about half the beans, which thickens them and creates a creamy texture.  Taste for salt and add another teaspoon or so if needed. 

Continue to simmer the beans, uncovered, if they still seem a little liquid-y, but they tend to thicken as they sit and cool, so don’t over-reduce them.  Add a little more water if they seem too thick. 

Remove the beans from the heat, cover them, and let them sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Chorizo Black Bean Tacos

Click here for a printable recipe

Serves 4

8 corn tortillas (store-bought or homemade)

2-3 cups of chorizo black beans, heated

1 avocado, diced or sliced

a good handful of fresh cilantro (chopped or torn)

1 cup of crumbled queso fresco (can use a grated Mexican cheese blend or feta cheese)

1 or 2 limes, sliced into eighths 

Heat the tortillas, one at a time over the flame of a gas stove, being careful not burn them, but it’s OK to have little scorch spots.  I like to cook them until they’re just starting to crisp, but are still bendable.  Conversely, you can heat the tortillas on a cast iron griddle.  Keep them warm between two plates until ready to assemble. 

Place about ¼ cup or so of the black beans in each tortilla.  Top the beans with some of the cheese, the diced avocado and cilantro.  Serve with a couple of the lime slices for each person to squeeze onto each taco.

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