Dried black beans are something we have in our food storage so whenever we have a leftover ham bone (or ham slices) in the freezer, I try to figure this into our menu. I do need to plan ahead because the beans need to soak overnight, but the rewards are scrumptious.
Black Beans and Rice
1 lb. black beans (I use 2-3 cups from bulk.)
The night before you plan to serve them, place beans (rinsed and picked through) in a large saucepan and add 5-6 cups water. Bring to a boil then turn off the heat and soak beans overnight.
The next day bring the beans to a boil and add as you prepare them:
3 large stalks celery, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper
1 tsp. dried basil (or handful of fresh)
ham, sausage, or bacon (if desired)
Simmer (covered) approximately 5-6 hours until the beans are soft. Add more water as needed. (I usually add several more cups.) Just before serving, remove the jalapeno and add 1-2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper.
Serve over rice.
Julie's Notes: My black beans taste the best when I add a ham bone or chopped up ham slices to the beans as well. The ham is usually left over from some type of holiday feast. Just let the bone simmer with the beans all day, and remove it before serving. Tiny pieces of meat literally fall off the bone into the beans and flavor it deliciously.