Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Slow-Cooked Black Beans with Smoked Turkey

Trying to save money on the grocery bill again and came across this recipe.

It reminds me of the red beans and rice I made before, but the flavors are completely different.

This is a really easy, throw-in-the-pot-and-walk-away dish that takes almost no time to prep and makes a good amount of delicious food.

Slow-Cooked Black Beans with Smoked Turkey
(from here)

2 red onions, chopped (divided)
2 tablespoons fat, some kind of oil or...bacon grease
3 medium carrots, cut into large chunks
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 pound dried black beans, picked over, rinsed and drained
1 smoked turkey drumstick (1 3/4 to 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons pickling spice, tied in cheesecloth
If you don't have the pickling spice, use:
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
4 cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon allspice (berries or ground, I only had ground)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
8 cups of filtered water
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Sour cream and/or lime wedges, for garnish (optional)

==

Begin by chopping your onions. Chop all but half of one. You'll use that half for garnish on the final dish.

Toss the onions into the fat over medium heat.


Add the carrots and garlic.


Add the tablespoon of flour and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.


You should have a light yellow color to the roux.


Add the black beans (make sure they are picked over for rocks and other oddities) and the turkey leg.

Mine was straight out of the freezer.


Assemble a spice bag with the pickling spice.

If you don't have it, just make a quick version on your own of:

2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
4 cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon allspice (berries or ground, I only had ground)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

I used a coffee filter. If you go this direction, don't tie it too tightly as the cinnamon sticks will expand and bust your spice bag.


Drop it into the pot.


Add 8 cups of water.

Cook over low heat on the range or in the oven at 300F for 6 hours. I used the oven.


You'll notice everything breakdown.

I flipped the turkey leg a few times in the process.


After 6 hours, everything will be nicely broken down.


Remove the turkey leg. Mine came out in a lot of chunks.


Shred the meat and discard the bones and cartilage.

There was an amazing amount of meat on the leg.


You can mash some of the beans at this point if you want them creamier, but mine were pretty creamy already.


Add the turkey back in to the mix.


Give everything a stir and taste for salt. I added quite a bit.


Garnish with some sour cream, chopped red onion and cilantro. A squirt of lime is also nice.

I don't normally tout the existence of garnishes, but in this case, the garnish really brings the dish together. The onion adds some texture and pungency. The lime and cilantro add a nice brightness to the dish while the sour cream balances the flavors and adds creaminess. Everything really compliments the smokiness of the turkey and the pickling spice lends some sweetness that I found really enjoyable.

My daughter also killed 3 plates of this. Easily her favorite meal I've made in a while.


Enjoy!

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